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Each year on the 12th of May, nurses from across the world come together to markInternational Nurses Day. 2020 is a special year for Ulster University as we celebrate 45 years of nursing education.

In many and varied clinical settings right across Northern Ireland, Ulster University nursing students and graduates bring compassion, care and clinical skill to support colleagues, patients and their families.

Ranked 7th in the UK and top 50 in the world, Ulster University’s School of Nursing educates over 900 nursing students each year. The school offers pre-registration courses which prepare the next generation of nurses for their entry into the workforce and post-registration courses to support nurses’ continuing education. In nursing research, Ulster University academics are leaders in their fields, working to transform patient care.  

The current COVID-19 pandemic may have changed Ulster’s 45th anniversary celebration plans but it has highlighted the vital role nurses play in delivering high quality care in hospitals and healthcare settings across Northern Ireland.

Ulster University students, staff and alumni have risen to the coronavirus challenge.Over 200 final year Nursing and students from Ulster University have joined the fight against Covid-19 by entering the Health and Social Care (HSC) workforce early. These students, in the last six months of their pre-registration education, have elected to take their final clinical placement now to support the HSC during this crisis.

Professor Sonja McIlfatrick, Head of School of Nursing at Ulster University commented:

“Today we join with our students, staff, alumni, clinical partners, families and patients in marking International Nurses Day. Never before in our lifetime, has our profession been so visible, so vital and so valued. During the current pandemic our students, staff and alumni have gone above and beyond to support the health service at this difficult time.

“This year also marks 45 years of nursing at Ulster University and generations of commitment and talent making an impact in our community. Through our teaching and research we are shaping the next generation of nurses and transforming patient care.”