Over the last six months nursing and midwifery ambassadors have been taking part in first half of 12 30 Day Challenges to build positive perceptions of the professions. These challenges continue as part of the Nursing Now England programme; I thought it was a great time to reflect back to where we started.

In July this year we challenged nurses and midwives to write a blog. When creating a social movement its often unclear whether it will start with one person making the first step, or a group of people but this approach seems to have created a ground swell of energy, passion and effort. Nearly 1,000 blogs have now been written; some are on the Ambassadors Forum and many more are on independent blogging sites as Ambassadors have become experience and proficient at sharing their stories.

In September we presented Professor Jane Cummings with a collection of the blogs published at that time - you can read the blogs here. The collection was a tribute to Jane for recognising the importance of giving nurses and midwives their voice, having launched the programme in 2017.

The challenge was flexible; this could be an ambassador's first and only blog, or the start of a fabulous series sharing their career journey. We launched with a blog from our own Horizons team award-winning writer, Leigh Kendall, encouraging Ambassadors to recognise that their voice is important and that their views, opinions, and experiences matter. A blog gives you this space – and the opportunity to inspire others.

As Helen Bevan says in her introduction to the collection: 

"Through both contributing and reading the contributions of others, many have come to realise that nurses and midwives have a powerful voice. They are using that voice to describe their working lives and their hopes for the future of the professions. In doing so, they help us to celebrate the fantastic work of nurses and midwives throughout the country and to encourage young people who are considering entering the professions. They also provide vital testimony to influence decision-makers, providing a direct link between experiences in hospital and wider planning for the future of the professions. We are so proud of every single one of the contributors. Their candour affords us all a unique window into their diverse professional lives."

Thank you Jane and we wish you a wonderful retirement from the NHS.