Celebrating International Nurses Day with a spotlight on Alexandra Mancini Smith

Categories: Care and People & Places.

Today, 12 May, is International Nurses Day and we are pleased to shine a light on the important work that Alex has undertaken in her time as a nurse.

Alex trained as a nurse in Auckland, New Zealand. She is a Senior Neonatal Nurse with over 25 years’ experience and has been instrumental in developing national and international guidelines on neonatal palliative care, including robust complex and palliative care pathways. She is seen as a leader within the field of neonatal palliative care globally, and is regularly invited to speak at national, regional and international conferences.

She works as the Pan London Lead Nurse for Neonatal Palliative Care. It is the first post of its kind and was jointly funded by the True Colours Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity. Prior to this, Alex was the Neonatal Matron at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital including providing practical and emotional support for families and staff. Alex is passionate about neonatal palliative care and is committed to raising awareness of and advocating for the development of this field of nursing.

Building on her past clinical and educational experience, she raises awareness on neonatal palliative care in the UK by educating professionals in a variety of settings and strengthening working relationships between specialist palliative care services, including children’s hospices. Alongside this she has helped organise the National Neonatal Palliative and End-oflife Care conference in collaboration with Children Bereavement UK (CBUK). She is regularly invited to give training and facilitates CBUK’s national educational workshops,and is a guest lecturer at various universities teaching neonatal palliative and end-of-life care. Alex also developed an online course for the Royal College of Midwives which is also available globally through the International Children’s Palliative Care Network e-learning programme.

Alex has published widely and was the lead editor for the recently published book ‘Neonatal Palliative Care for Nurses’.

In a recent blog for Springer Nature about the new book Alex said: “I am fiercely proud of my colleagues from the neonatal and children’s palliative care worlds who agreed to share their knowledge and expertise of caring for babies and their families, often in extremely challenging situations. Most chapters include real case studies of babies and their families, with the nurse authors sharing their experiences with the reader. As healthcare professionals, we are continuously learning from our patients, but it is imperative that we also share these experiences with the nurses and midwives of the future as well as our more experienced colleagues.”

She is committed to “Supporting nurses and midwives to shine, to be the very best they can be in a challenging landscape and provide consistent high-quality care to babies and their families”1

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