I was so excited to finally get my lilac uniform!

Sarah Gethin Davies - International Nurses' Day 2017

Child Nursing lecturer Sarah Gethin Davies is a Registered General/Registered Sick Children’s Nurse, midwife and specialist community public health nurse.

"This picture was taken in 1988. I had just qualified as RGN/RSCN and was about to start my first staff nurse post in Sheffield Children’s Hospital on Burns and Plastics Ward. I remember being so excited to finally wear my lovely lilac staff nurse’s uniform and purple belt!

So much has changed in nursing over the last 33 years, not just the fact that we no longer wear dresses and hats!

Having qualified in 1988, major changes began to take place with the Children’s Act 1989 and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. The UNCRC’s underpinning philosophy of ‘protect, provide for and encourage the participation of children and their families’ transformed child nursing.

This focus on family-centred care has made major changes to how a child and their family experience ill health; as has the paradigm shift from treating disease and illness to promoting public health and wellbeing of children and young people.

In this profession, I think it is important to always remember why you wanted to become a nurse, and how you felt when you first started training.

I still clearly remember the anticipation and nervousness of walking onto my first Paediatric placement as an 18-year-old student nurse. Learning to navigate my way through placements, assignments, living away from home, coping with happy and sad situations in practice, long shifts and few holidays was made possible by the support of my fellow colleagues, some excellent mentors and role models from practice to aspire to. In that respect, nothing has changed, or should."

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