Kate Middleton has made it her mission to empower nurses

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Emily Reynolds
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Kate Middleton is set to launch a new campaign aiming to empower nurses. 

Kate Middleton is set to launch a new campaign aimed at empowering nurses and recognising them as the “lynchpins of care”. 

Middleton’s great-grandmother worked as a nurse during the First World War, “caring for wounded servicemen” in a field hospital in Leeds. 

Nursing Now will be launched by the Duchess next month, at an event where she’ll also speak in a roundtable discussion of nurses to “find out what it means to be a 21st century nurse”. She’ll also spend the day visiting the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for an event aimed at “tackling the stigma around women’s health”. 

The campaign says that “nurses are at the heart of most health teams” and should be recognised as such.

“Nurses play a crucial role in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment,” the campaign explains on its website. “As the health professionals who are closest to the community they have a particular role in developing new models of community based care and support local efforts to promote health and prevent disease.” 

It comes at a time when nursing bursaries have been cut by the government, leading to a slump in applications for nursing courses and roles. In 2017, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing Janet Davies described the nursing workforce as being “in crisis”. “If fewer nurses graduate in 2020 it will exacerbate what is already an unsustainable situation,” she said

The campaign points to a report on nursing, which concluded that “empowering nursing would contribute to improved gender equality – as the vast majority of nurses are still women – and build stronger economies.”

Nursing Now will “build a global network of advocates” to help nurses reach leadership positions and increase their influence. 

By 2020, the campaign hopes to improve education, development and employment conditions for nurses, greater influencer for nurses on health policy, and more nurses in leadership positions. 

“The potential of nurses to do more varied jobs and take on more responsibility is often overlooked because of strict hierarchies and engrained ideas about what they can and cannot do,” Nursing Now writes. “Maximising nurses’ contributions will require that they are properly deployed, valued and included in policy and decision-making.”

The campaign is just one of many health-related endeavours Middleton has backed – most recently, she has been focusing her work on mental health.

Image: Rex Features