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NI Nurses attend Buckingham Palace Reception


King Charles meets Jonah Atos

Internationally-educated nurses living and working in Northern Ireland have attended a reception hosted by His Majesty The King.

The event in Buckingham Palace was held to pay tribute to the UK’s international nursing and midwifery workforce, and to recognise the multitude of backgrounds and cultures which contribute to the health services across the four nations.

Nurses from Northern Ireland joined colleagues from across the UK at the reception, including Jonah Atos, International Nurse Coordinator and Stella Jojo, ICU Manager from the Western Trust, who personally met King Charles.

Ms Atos, originally from the Philippines, joined the Western Trust in 2002.

She said:

“It was such an honour to be invited to meet his Majesty the King and represent both the Western Trust and my internationally-educated nursing colleagues at this prestigious event. This was a wonderful occasion to showcase the significant contribution of the internationally-educated workforce to the Health and Social Care system (HSC) across Northern Ireland.”

Ms Atos is currently working as the International Nurse Coordinator for the Western Trust, providing pastoral care, emotional, social and psychological support to her internationally-educated nursing colleagues.

Northern Ireland Deputy Chief Nursing Officer Mary Frances McManus, who also attended the reception with HSC colleagues, said:

“The internationally-educated nurses working across our HSC system provide an immensely valuable contribution to our communities and to the delivery of health and social care services.

“I am delighted that my nursing colleagues have been honoured and recognised for the compassion and kindness they show to the people they care for each and every day.”

The day also marked the King’s birthday, and the reception concluded with a surprise birthday song performed by the NHS choir.