Acclaimed author Christie Watson has been appointed patron of the RCN Foundation.

Her appointment coincides with a major fundraising walk through central London to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, and aims to emulate the number of steps taken by a nurse during a twelve hour shift.

Christie was a registered nurse for twenty years before she took up writing full-time. Her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First novel Award, and her second novel, Where Women Are Kings, was also published to international acclaim.

Her latest book, The Language of Kindness: a Nurse’s Story, is an autobiographical account of her time as a nurse, and has been hailed as one of the best clinical memoirs in recent years. The book, which was subject to a fierce bidding war amongst publishers, is a Sunday Times bestseller, and was a BBC Radio 4 book of the week.

On her appointment, Christie said: “It’s a privilege and honour to work alongside the RCN Foundation as their patron. Nursing is in trouble like never before and the RCN Foundation helps nurses in many ways, including those suffering financial hardship. We must support nurses in order that they are able to continue to deliver the best possible care that all patients deserve.”

Robert Sowney, Chair of the RCN Foundation said: “We are delighted that Christie has agreed to become our first patron. She is a true champion of nursing, and her knowledge, experience and commitment to the profession shine through in everything she says and does. We are so grateful that she is already supporting the foundation in so many ways, including by spearheading the fundraising walk on 6 July. We are looking forward to working even more closely with Christie in the future to support and strengthen nursing and improve patient care.”