The critical roles and responsibilities nurses play across global healthcare systems has been thrown into sharp focus during the last 12 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As nurses continue to be at the frontline of patient care in hospitals and across their communities, we caught up with two students during International Nurses Day 2021, who are furthering their knowledge and education at Sunderland, sharing their experiences of the nursing profession both in the UK and in their home country.

Kamolrat Cheangdee and Jingwen Li are two of more than 600 International and EU nurses who have enrolled onto the University of Sunderland’s BSc Nursing Top up, MSc Nursing and MSc Public Health, at their Sunderland and London campuses in the last four years.

Sue Brent, Head of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Sunderland, says: “We are delighted to join our colleagues across the world in celebration of the incredible work nurses do, and looking to the future of how we teach and train our own nurses.”

She adds “Over the last year, many of our student nurses, from those just graduating to those in the last months of their study, began working and taking up voluntary posts in hospitals across the North East, as the NHS faced unprecedented pressures due to the pandemic.

“We are incredibly proud of all they have achieved, and on this International Nurses Day it’s fantastic to highlight the work they do, committing themselves to our programmes and to the healthcare settings they’ve been working in.”

In the last five years the University’s School of Nursing has grown from a fledgling training provider with just a handful of nurses, to a range of programmes whose reputation now attracts hundreds of students from across the globe to our Sunderland, London and overseas campuses.

Kamolrat Cheangdee, 31, from Thailand

Driven by a love of caring of others, Kamolrat began studying full-time on the MSc Nursing programme in January this year.

Jingwen Li, 24, from China

Jingwen says it was her mum’s suggestion to study nursing that inspired her to help others suffering from an illness, and led to her to completing her bachelors degree in nursing in her home country.

Jingwen then began working in a small rural clinic for a year, her daily routine included greeting new patients, guiding medicine, and collaborating with doctors on treatments.