These are the Hands. 2016. (accessed 2 February 2022)

‘These are the hands’: The future of the school nursing workforce

02 February 2022
Volume 3 · Issue 1


Despite difficult times, it is important to keep perspective and great research and practice shows that the future of school nursing is in good hands. Sharon White explains

‘These are the hands That touch us first


And touch us last.’

‘These are the Hands’, read the full poem by Michael Rosen (2016) for the 60th anniversary of the NHS at:

IIn my position as CEO of the School and Public Health Nurses Association ( it's all too easy to get sucked into the negative stuff; services overwhelmed by demand, ongoing disinvestment, redeployment, high attrition and sickness rates, etc. While, of course, these are key issues on which our professional organisation must and does constantly act, I was reminded last weekend when I received a ‘virtual showcase event’, from the course leaders of the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing course, why it is so important to keep perspective. This has been so much harder since our work moved to remote and, therefore, fewer opportunities to meet, listen, observe, and feed the school nursing soul!

The showcase contained around 20 PowerPoint presentations with voice-overs and accompanying narrative, explaining the public health issue they had identified in practice, the project they had embarked on and the evaluation thus far. The breadth of subject matter, analysis, critical challenge, reflective and evidence-based practice, as well as presentation/teaching skills, were very well demonstrated through the inspiring and innovative ways the students had approached their public health work through the most challenging times out in practice. Importantly and, to be admired, they also shared where and why things had not quite worked or gone to plan.

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