By Erin Hill
From the editors of PEOPLE
Kate Middleton is empowering nurses worldwide.
The royal mum, whose great-grandmother worked as a nurse during World War I, visited St. Thomas’ Hospital in London on Tuesday to officially launch a campaign to promote nursing worldwide.
Kate, who is expecting her third child in April, was glowing in a matching blue Jenny Packham overcoat and dress as she visited a specialist ward, took part in a roundtable discussion and delivered a speech to mark the launch of the Nursing Now campaign.
Kate’s great-grandmother, Olive Middleton, is known to have worked as a nurse during WWI, caring for wounded servicemen in a field hospital.
Last month, the pregnant royal showed off her own care-giving skills after she came to the aid of a 10-year-old boy who became unwell after waiting in the cold to see her.
During her visit on Tuesday, Kate saw first-hand the expertise and dedication of nurses as they care for children in the Snow Leopard Ward at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which is part of St. Thomas.’ The nurse-led team train carers and relatives how to use the child’s ventilation equipment to prepare them for going home.
As she met a family of a young patient, Kate joked that her husband, Prince William, is ‘in denial’ ahead of the birth of their third child in April.
‘I was saying, ‘Congratulations, best of luck with the third one.’ She said, ‘William’s in denial,’’ said Jamie Parsons, the father of a 10-month-old receiving care at the hospital.
She then joined a roundtable discussion with nurses across the career spectrum, from trainees to consultant nurses, and from a range of different countries to find out what it means to be a 21st century nurse and what impact the Nursing Now campaign could have on the profession.
‘This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses,’ she said in her speech. ‘They would have learned first-hand from working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Red Cross about the care and compassion that sometimes only nurses can provide.’
‘Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring,’ she continued. ‘I have been struck today by the enormous range of responsibilities that nurses have, not only in providing access to healthcare, but also in terms of providing a holistic approach to caring for our physical and mental health. You also promote good health and disease prevention.
‘I would like to congratulate and thank all nurses everywhere on what you achieve on a daily basis. The difference you make should not go unrecognised. I would also like to acknowledge the International Council of Nurses, the World Health Organization and the Burdett Trust for Nursing, who are playing key roles in ensuring the future of the profession.’
Nursing Now is a major global campaign aimed at raising the profile and status of nursing worldwide, so that nurses can make an even greater contribution at the heart of efforts to tackle rising burdens of disease.
The three-year initiative is being run as a program of the Burdett Trust for Nursing, in collaboration with the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Earlier in the day, Kate visited the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) on Tuesday to learn more about the college’s global health programs aimed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality worldwide.
The royal mum also saw how the college’s workshops and continued training support trainee doctors to develop safe surgical techniques and essential clinical skills in obstetrics and gynecology.
She then attended in a roundtable discussion on tackling the stigma around women’s health – particularly maternal mental health – can be challenged.