To mark International Nurses Day 2019, nurses from across Dorset came together for their first conference at Kingston Maurward House in Dorchester.

The event provided an opportunity to hear about initiatives taking place within nursing and to celebrate the ongoing contribution nurses make to the care and wellbeing of the people of Dorset.

The conference was opened by Sue Doheny, Regional Chief Nurse at NHS England and NHS Improvement. Various speakers working in nursing across the county gave updates on the advanced nurse practitioner-led service on Portland, a new Telehealth Service for palliative care patients and pre-hospital critical care nursing, among other developments.

Attendees took part in a series of workshops on sharing innovation and best practice, the role of technology in health care, the introduction of the nursing associate role and how to ensure nurses’ voices continue to be heard.

Vanessa Read, Director of Nursing & Quality at NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Today has provided an excellent opportunity to celebrate our nurses and all that they do. Without talented and committed nurses, the NHS would not be able to support patients in the way it does.

“While nursing has certainly evolved over time, with a workforce of nurses now performing important specialist roles across Dorset, today has shown how the core values of caring for patients remain intrinsic to the job. All of our nurses deserve recognition for their contributions, which really do make a difference.”

The conference showcased the diverse range of contemporary nursing roles, from advanced nurse practitioners, critical care nurses, forensic nurses and diabetes nurses to health visitors, paediatric nurses and the traditional bedside nurse.

Earlier this year, a new Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship scheme was introduced offering up to 50 aspiring nurses the chance to study adult or mental health nursing while gaining practical experience in a healthcare setting in Dorset.

Sarah Tilbury, System Apprenticeship Development Lead from the Dorset Workforce Delivery Team said: “It’s right that we take this moment to show our appreciation for local nurses and invite them all to share their ideas and experience, as part of the wider conversation on how best to train and retain high quality nurses.”

For more information on current opportunities to get into health and social care roles in Dorset, visit