ICN and BBC Storyworks call for more nursing stories!

2 July 2023
Plenary 1 BBC

At the first plenary of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress in Montreal, Canada, BBC StoryWorks announced a second series of its powerful and award-winning films highlighting the inspiring work of nurses.

"Caring with Courage", a powerful and inspiring series of programmes made in collaboration with ICN and launched on 12 May 2022 examined the stories of nurses who have gone beyond the call of duty to provide care to their patients in challenging circumstances.

The films reveal the bravery and selflessness of nurses on the frontlines of healthcare. With captivating interviews and vivid footage, "Caring with Courage" shows the critical role that nurses play in supporting and transforming the lives of individuals and the communities they live in. Through these stories, a wide global audience will gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by nurses, their leadership, and the impact of their work on all of our lives.

Series producers, Simon Shelley and Claire Small spoke about the significant impact of the films. Mr Shelley said: “Of the people that watched the films, they are 60% more likely to consider nurses as transformative than people who haven’t watched the films. Which is just one measurement, but it is really important to us that it is shifting and challenging misperceptions and improving comprehension.”

ICN CEO Howard Catton who moderated the session said, “These inspiring films celebrate the incredible work of nurses and their role in leading development in the healthcare sector as well as improving patient health. The films expose and shift the myth of nursing and promote nursing as the solution to health care challenges. What the evidence shows us is that these films change how people, including decision-makers see nurses, they are transformational.”

Renowned global nurse consultant Barbara Stilwell said: “I think Caring with Courage is remarkable because it shows the complexity of nursing. Nurses need to be recognised for the profession that we are. The nurses in the videos don’t see patients: they see people and we need to pay attention to their stories.”

She said in many countries nursing is relatively powerless because people do not understand what nurses do. She said the Caring with Courage films can be used to help transform people’s ideas about nursing.

“It is so important for us to look at this and think, this is what we should show people, because it engages you – not only your mind but your heart – and that is so important when you want to reach people we can’t normally reach, like decision makers and politicians.

‘We need to show people these films and have the figures to back them up about advanced practice, what we do in the community and the difference it makes to health. This can get people on the hook - it is a powerful medium and we shouldn’t ignore it.”

President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, Heather McGrath invited the film makers to travel to Jamaica for a new series: “These videos have a very powerful message. In Jamaica we have had advanced practice role since 1977 but we were still struggling to get prescriptive autonomy for nurse practitioners in Jamaica. I think this platform, showing the videos to the public, is a really good tool because even health care providers, governments and non-government organisations don’t understand advanced practice. Across the Caribbean we are struggling to be recognised, and I think this is a really great opportunity for us.”

Mr Shelley said he and his team were keen to hear from nurses everywhere about their nursing experiences with a view to making more videos about their colleagues and inspiring stories about their work.

Mr Catton ended by encouraging delegates to ‘flood the BBC StoryWorks inbox’ with their ideas for future films in the Caring with Courage series.

The ICN Congress is currently taking place in Montreal, Canada, from 1-5 July 2023. For more information go to Congress website or follow us on social media!

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ICN and BBC Storyworks call for more nursing stories!

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