International Nurses Day: get to know our nursing stars

Every year on 12 May, in honour of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, people join together to celebrate International Nurses Day. This year, Marie Curie is going a step further to recognise the amazing work done by our nurses.  

Throughout the day, there will be live Twitter updates from staff in our Liverpool and West Midlands Hospices, as well as from nurses before and after their overnight visits to the homes of people living with terminal illness. There will also be highlights on our blog and the chance to get specific insights from a Marie Curie Nurse during our Facebook Q&A session.

Meet the team

With around 500 Marie Curie Nurses scheduled to deliver 5,000 hours of care and support across the UK on International Nurses Day, we’ll be focusing on a few who have kindly made time to share insights around what they do, why they do it and what it means to them. So let’s meet some of the stars of International Nurses Day 2016:

Marie Curie Nurse Sue Stirzaker
“Palliative care was highlighted to me while training on a hospital ward and I thought: ‘There’s got to be something better than this’. I visited the Marie Curie Hospice and thought ‘Wow, that's what I want to do’ and have never looked back. I wouldn't change my job for the world.”
Sue Stirzaker started as a Staff Nurse at the Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool in 1989 and became Ward Sister in 2001
Marie Curie Nurse Sarah Reynolds
“I had spent 30 years in the care industry when my sister died aged only 56. I was very upset about the way she was treated in hospital. I thought if someone so young can be treated like that, what’s it like for people who are older and more seriously ill? So I became a Marie Curie Nurse to provide better care than my sister received.”
Sarah Reynolds is a Senior Healthcare Assistant in Cardiff and the Vale and joined Marie Curie in 2011
Marie Curie Nurse Judith Odwin
“I found end of life care a rewarding challenge in my previous role as a district nurse. I feel it's a privilege to be involved with someone at such a vulnerable point in their lives, to follow them through that process and know you have allowed them a good death.”
Judith Odwin is a Community Clinical Nurse Specialist based out of the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands and joined us in May 2014
Marie Curie Nurse Bill Dynes
“My old colleague raved about working for Marie Curie and the charity has a solid reputation – there is always that ‘aaahh’ of recognition. Then the hospice position came up and I thought ‘I’ll have some of that’. I wish I’d come to it sooner, but do feel I’ve come full-circle with palliative care, having supported people with HIV in the 80s and 90s.”
Bill Dynes is a Staff Nurse at our Liverpool Hospice and joined Marie Curie last October, after 12 years of nursing in a prison setting
Marie Curie Senior Healthcare Assistant Clare Horgan
“When working as a nurse in a local hospice, I got talking to one of my patients and she said she would rather be at home if she had the choice and that got me thinking. Then I found out about the work of Marie Curie Nurses looking after people in their own homes. By doing this, I’m giving someone that last piece of autonomy, that choice.”
Clare Horgan is a Senior Healthcare Assistant in Essex and joined Marie Curie in 2008
Marie Curie Nurse Tracey Frost
“Being able to look after people in their own home, surrounded by their family, gives a much better idea of the patient. We can also give the time that other services can't – NHS nurses have to rush in and out, but we have the luxury of an hour.”
Tracey Frost is a Community Clinical Nurse Specialist based out of our West Midlands Hospice and joined Marie Curie in 1997
Marie Curie Nurse Bev Bower
“Working in a hospital for 24 years involved palliative care and that patient and family contact made me feel like more of a nurse. After joining the Marie Curie Hospice, my mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour and then nursed at the hospice. We were able to stay with her day and night. She died last May and it made me more mindful of the need for support.”
Bev Bower joined Marie Curie in 2014 as a Staff Nurse at our Liverpool Hospice
Marie Curie Healthcare Assistant Tracey Porter
"I started as an auxiliary nurse with the NHS when I was 18 and have been passionate about palliative care for a while. A friend saw the Marie Curie role advertised and told me: ‘you’re the first person I thought of’. My role is in the community and I can be in one house all night, or have eight visits, there’s lots of variety."
Tracey Porter joined Marie Curie in 2011 and is a Healthcare Assistant with the Rapid Response team in Dumfries & Galloway

Dee Sissons, Director of Nursing for Marie Curie, says: “Our nurses work tirelessly in hospices and people’s homes to give care, support and peace of mind when they’re needed most. They are at the heart of Marie Curie and it’s important we take the time to celebrate the incredible work they do, while raising awareness among supporters and the wider online community. Thank you so much to all our nurses and to everyone supporting International Nurses Day.”

Follow @mariecurieuk on Twitter   for live updates from our nurses throughout International Nurses Day and post your questions for Senior Healthcare Assistant Clare Horgan as part of a Q&A on the Marie Curie Facebook page   from 7-8pm tomorrow (Thursday 12 May).

Help Marie Curie Nurses be there for more people living with a terminal illness, and their families, by making a one-off or regular donation.