Nurses helping to tackle the Covid pandemic are inspiring the next generation of care-givers, the Prince of Wales said.
Charles, writing in The Times on International Nurses’ Day, said it was important to “recognise and celebrate the selfless contribution” of nursing staff, particularly given it has been “the most challenging of years”.
The Prince of Wales visited St Bartholomew’s Hospital on Tuesday to thank hospital staff who treated the Duke of Edinburgh for a heart condition.
Philip spent several days at St Barts before returning to King Edward VII’s Hospital, and died peacefully at Windsor Castle on April 9.
In the Times, the heir to the throne wrote of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole whose caring instincts in response to the “horrors of the Crimean war” shaped their profession.
Saying that nurses have continued to show expertise and care in the fight against Covid, Charles wrote: “In care homes and hospitals it is often the healthcare assistants, nurses and nursing associates who have provided compassion at the bedside of our loved ones when we could not be there.
The duty of a nurse is seen by many as a lifelong commitment and over the past year more than 2,000 nurses have returned to the NHS to provide vital care in hospitals, mental health services and community services.
“The pandemic has highlighted the crucial role of nurses and continues to inspire a generation of care-givers who will shape the future,” Charles wrote.
He added it was “encouraging” to see a 32% increase in the number of applications to study nursing at UK universities, saying that nurses were deserving of “our thoughts and thanks”.