When the World Health Organization declared that 2020 would be the Year of the Nurse & the Midwife, it would have been impossible to predict just how bright the spotlight would shine on the nursing profession, and nurses around the world over the course of this year.
Challenged like never before, nurses have been leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, making immeasurable sacrifices and showing unwavering dedication to their patients and profession.
Bupa is proudly partnering with Nursing Now in celebrating and raising the profile of nursing worldwide with the aim of supporting nurses to be leaders and advocates in health, taking their place at the table, and tackling 21st century health challenges.
The future of nursing
One might ask why this is needed now. Nurses play a far greater role in healthcare and with the health challenges we face the opportunity to make an important contribution is clearly evident. There remains however a lack of awareness about the diverse skills, talent and expertise of this clinical community, not to mention the varied career paths and leadership opportunities in nursing. Ensuring there are people inspired to join the profession and encouraged to become leaders of the future is essential for high quality healthcare at a time when there is a global shortage.
Using its global footprint, Bupa is showcasing the multi-faceted career paths of the people making a difference to the lives of so many.
Meet our nurses
From dental to mental health and care services to policy development, we want to share our nurses’ career journeys. Here, we speak to Rachel Woodage, Nursing & Allied Health Professional Board Support Officer within the Clinical Leadership & Development team at Bupa.
What attracted you to nursing?
I always wanted to be a nurse. It sounds like a cliché but ever since I can remember I have felt that it was the right fit for me. I don’t recall having any other career aspirations other than to work in healthcare. My mum trained as a nurse and my family have a long tradition of volunteering with St John Ambulance, so maybe it’s in my genes! I think nurses do an incredible job, and I always aspired to join the ranks.
"I think nurses do an incredible job, and I always aspired to join the ranks."
How has your career progressed?
I thrive on a challenge and have always tried to grab opportunities that come my way. I became aware of my current role while managing Bupa’s nurse led, Anytime Healthline. As a result of this, and previous roles, I was aware that there are many ways to make a difference as a nurse, which don’t necessarily fit with the traditional notion of what nursing involves, which is typically seen as being face-to-face with patients.
What does your current role involve?
I’m in an enviable position to assist with driving change and improvements for our patients, residents, customers and staff. I get to use my nursing knowledge and experience to lead on projects and new initiatives, support our clinicians with lifelong learning and career progression. Identifying challenges and collaborating to come up with unified solutions is also a key part of the role as is sharing best practice to ensure we’re constantly building on our commitment to help customers live longer, healthier, happier lives.
What do you hope we achieve through our partnership with Nursing Now?
I hope it gives us an opportunity to showcase the amazing work that our nurses do globally. And that it also gives our nurses the opportunity to really recognise and celebrate their own achievements, and those of their colleagues in this, the International Year of the Nurse.