Today, 12th May 2021, marks International Nurses Day. The reason that we celebrate this on this day is due to the fact that it is the anniversary of the birth of one of our most famous nurses and the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. Each year at NHS Fife we like to put the spotlight on to our nurses on this day, and this year is no different. This year we feel that it is even more fitting to focus on our fantastic nurses, looking at what it means to be a nurse, what different specialities exist within the broad term nurse, and the positives of the role.
Our nurses on nursing
Nursing Auxiliary, Alison Orr, talks about her journey into nursing and what she loves about nursing
Family Nurse Supervisor, Amy Piper, talks about what she loves about her role
Head of Nursing, Nicola Robertson, on her journey and the benefits of a career in nursing
Our patients on nurses
Providing care for patients is at the heart of what nurses do. For this reason, we thought it would be appropriate to hear some of our patient’s views of our nurses. We celebrate some of these experiences here.
Bethany and Sam from Kirkcaldy talk about the unique care of their nurses has transformed their experience of hospital and led to genuine friendships.
Andaleeb, from Dunfermline, pays tribute to the nursing staff that have helped support her and her daughter over the last few years
The Nursing Tartan
This year we were also delighted to hear about the Nursing Tartan project. You can read more about this below.
The Nursing Tartan is the result of a creative collaboration between nurses, nursing students at the University of Edinburgh, Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers and Lochcarron of Scotland. The origin of the project in March 2020, was the desire of the nursing team involved to have their profession recognised in their own trademark tartan. Many professions and organisations have their own tartan, a traditional hardwearing fabric with deep Scottish roots. Tartan has shifted focus in recent years from its traditional association with Clans and Scottish surnames to be adopted by institutions looking for a cachet product. Premier league football clubs such as Celtic and Rangers have their own tartan as indeed does the Scottish National Team.
The project started over a year ago, with the original intention to launch the Nursing Tartan on the 12th May 2020, 200 years to the day that Florence Nightingale was born. Alas, along with many other plans, the Coronavirus pandemic put paid to this, and the project was pushed back until this year when it was recently resurrected in line with the increased lifting of Coronavirus restrictions.
The brief was clear, to produce a fabric which would represent all levels of the nursing profession and which could be used to produce clothing and accessories. All profits from the sale of these items would go straight to the associated charities to benefit nurses, namely The Burdett Trust for Nursing and the Edinburgh Global Nursing Initiative. The tartan was designed by nurses and nursing students who decided to focus on the varied colours of nursing uniforms to inform the design. Great care was taken in the design of the tartan to ensure that the different designations of nurses were proportionally represented. This is what gives the pattern its final overall blue appearance with dark blue representing senior nurses, lighter blue representing the majority of nursing staff, the grey paying homage to those students starting their nursing journeys. Finally, the most senior staff, who wear burgundy uniforms, are captured in the burgundy crosshatch lines which serve to give the tartan it’s final authentic stamp of approval.
The final fabric is mainly is a mix of light and dark blue which recalls the uniforms of the vast majority of nursing staff and indeed the familiar NHS logo. Once several designs were finalised these were put to a vote and an outright favourite found and approved – also of course, by a group of nurses and representatives from nursing institutions. The results are stunning as you can see below
The Nursing Tartan - Reflecting the uniform colours
The Nursing Tartan
First bale of Nursing Tartan!
The design finalised; the group now faced the challenge of how to bring their new tartan identity to life. They approached Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers. The Kiltmaker, based in the heart of Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile in the Canongate, were well placed to step up to the challenge. The very nature of kiltmaking requires tartan and lots of it. Gordon Nicolson were more than happy to collaborate with the group and to set up introductions to the weavers at Lochcarron of Scotland, where the tartan would ultimately hit the loom and the threads would be deftly combined to become the Nursing Tartan.
The results are stunning. And completely individual. So far, the tartan has been used on a number of initial products for its launch. These include, non medical facemasks, lightweight shawl, a poncho, a necktie and a tartan scarf. The Nursing Tartan is also restricted. This term, little known outside the tartan world, means that it is an exclusive product that it can only be commissioned [woven] by the Nursing Tartan and only be purchased through them. It is brought to us by Weavers Lochcarron of Scotland, Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers, the University of Edinburgh, Nursing Now and NHS nursing staff. This is not only to preserve the exclusivity of the product, but also to ensure that the proceeds raised from these items will go to the intended charities to benefit nurses. The tartan can be purchased from thenursingtartan.com
Finally, to celebrate the launch of the tartan, we asked some NHS Fife nurses and staff to model one of the items, the non-medical face masks. We're sure you'll agree they are looking very stylish!