Nurses’ Day: Empowering the Nurses of Wales

12 May 2024

Jo Roche is a Registered General Nurse RGN working as a ward manager on an acute medical ward in Cardiff. Jo has worked in a variety of areas during her career, including time as an Admiral nurse, and on an emergency frailty unit. Jo is particularly interested in frailty, dementia, falls, carer wellbeing, and improving patient and staff experience. She tweets @Jo_Roche1

To celebrate Nurses Day 2024, I was approached to write a blog post about nursing in Wales. I don’t have any experience of working outside of Wales for comparison, but I can tell you about my experience of nursing in Wales.

Wales has a history of being community-focused and a reputation for looking out for each other. The old mining communities are one such example. Even outside the valleys, in the bigger cities with more diverse populations, you will see examples of communities coming together during times of need.

This is something that I think shines through in nursing.

Nursing is a tough job; we all know that. But knowing you have colleagues that you can turn to, who understand what you are feeling and why, makes it that bit easier. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing individuals and fantastic teams throughout my career so far. Kind, compassionate, caring: all the qualities you want in a nurse, but also the qualities you want in your team member. Knowing that they’ve got your back when you’ve had such a busy shift that you question if you’ve done a good enough job that day, knowing that they’ve got a ‘cwtch’ (Welsh word for hug) ready for you after you’ve supported a family through a bereavement.

I’ve also been so lucky to have worked with forward-thinking, encouraging, supportive, experienced managers and mentors, who want to teach, help you progress and learn about yourself, and who also give you the opportunities to do so. We have an amazing CNO, Sue Tranka, who inspires and empowers the nurses of Wales.

When I reflect on the nurse and the person I have grown into through my career, it is very clear to me how nurses I have met have helped to shape me. This is something I have become particularly aware of since becoming a ward manager last year. I keep it at the forefront of my mind when supporting my team.

I love being a nurse. Even on the tough days, there are always moments that remind you exactly why you do the job you do. I am proud to be a nurse.


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