Sunday, May 12, is International Nurses Day – the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing and a day when the importance of nurses and nursing across the world is recognised and celebrated. 

The theme of International Nurses Day 2024 is ‘Our Nurses. Our Future.’

Sian Middleton, Director of Nursing at Tŷ Hafan, says: “Tŷ Hafan Children’s Hospice cares for children with very complex nursing needs so having a strong and growing nursing team is fundamental to our work with children with life-shortening conditions and their families in Wales.

“Tŷ Hafan nurses are totally dedicated to providing the best possible care and support to those children and their families who find themselves needing palliative care, and together with our colleagues in the wider Care Team, we will work with them throughout the child’s life, through the child’s death and beyond.

“Currently we are only able to reach one in 10 of those children in Wales who so desperately need the support of palliative care services, so having a competent and committed nursing team is mission-critical to us being able to reach the ever growing number of families needing our support.

“We are always keen to hear from paediatric nurses interested in joining our team, as well as from people interested in training to be a nurse.”

Emma Williams has been a Deputy Lead Nurse at Tŷ Hafan for two years.

“To be able to liaise with the multi-disciplinary teams at Tŷ Hafan and to be able to be part of a growing team with great learning opportunities means I feel fulfilled in my role. I feel I’m making an impact each shift,” she says.

“Leaving the NHS I did feel like I was taking a risk moving to a charity.

“I was apprehensive, not knowing what I was walking into and was worried about my NHS pension which I shouldn’t have been as we get to bring it across with us. And there are so many other benefits to working as a nurse for Tŷ Hafan.

“At Tŷ Hafan you are valued for your expertise and knowledge and your opinions are valued especially when it’s for the benefit of the children.

“I go home fulfilled, feeling like I’ve given 100%. Working for the NHS there is a much narrower emotional bandwidth.”

Katrina Morris has been a Registered Nurse for three years and was sponsored by Tŷ Hafan to study for her nursing degree while working as a Health Care Support Worker for the charity, a role she started in 2015.

“It’s thanks to Tŷ Hafan that I was able to study for my nursing degree,” says Kat, whose previous role was working as a personal assistant to a child with additional needs in Swansea. “Because Tŷ Hafan sponsored me I didn’t have to pay any university fees and I was employed by the hospice throughout.

“Without this support I would not have been able to study for my degree and qualify as a Registered Nurse.”

As part of the sponsorship agreement, Kat was contracted to work as a Registered Nurse for Tŷ Hafan for three years after she qualified.

“I will have completed my three years post-degree in August of this year. But, while I could go to another job after that, I plan to stay. There’s nowhere else I would like to go,” she says.

“To anyone considering a nursing career here, whatever stage you are at in your own care journey, I would say to them: ‘Do it!’”

Click here to find out more about nursing opportunities at Tŷ Hafan.

Click here to read our interview with Deputy Lead Nurse Emma Williams.

Click here to read our interview with Nurse Kat Morris.

Pictured below, Emma Williams, fourth from left, and Kat Morris, third from right, with some of their Tŷ Hafan nursing colleagues.

Some of Ty Hafan's nursing team modelling their new uniforms