When i first joined Horizons nearly 18 months ago to work on this exciting programme to transform perceptions of nursing and midwifery, I had the pleasure of working with Patricija Luneznik, a student nurse from University of Maribor in Slovenia, on a placement with us for two weeks.
Patricija was part of the European Junior Leadership Academy which aims to identifying and developing some of Europe's most promising student nurse and midwife leaders. The programme is facilitated by Stacy Johnson MBE from the University of Nottingham (one of the programme partners).
Yesterday I was invited to the European Student Nurse Leadership Summit when the work of the Academy was share with students from 21 countries and it made me reflect on just how far we have come in that relative short time for a transformation programme this size. We are starting to shape how the ambitions of Nursing Now England are now defined and developed at local level so it was a natural part of our programme's development to share the stage with one of our Ambassador's Lia Vargas.
Lia talked about how the developments initially focused across Nottingham University Hospital and now, more recently are evolving to include nurses in partner organisations, working together to develop their local Nursing Now England Network, Nottinghamshire. And after this session this includes the University of Nottingham student nurses!
Two particularly passionate nurses, Claire and Emily from Southern Ireland whooped with delight when they saw that learning disability nursing was a key priority for Nursing Now England. After the session they shared stories with me of being told that they are "not proper nurses" or "only half a nurse" - we had a great conversation about how their skills are invaluable and why we need to help those outside of this field of nursing to re-imagine their roles and the skills that they have to offer.
I also mentioned a campaign launched on Monday by @WeStudentNurse, in partnership with other student communities across twitter. The campaign #StNMHDay aims to help us to to think about the mental health of our students, even if they are only with us for a short while. I made a pledge as a Registered Nurse to support every student nurse to develop in the right conditions for them to thrive rather than just survive. Here's some of the things I think are important:
Yesterday i left feeling like i had plugged into a 3 million volt surge #newpower!
Being invited to share my Nursing Now England Ambassador role to our future nurses has been a fantastic experience and really emphasised the importance of being ‘leaderly’. It was great to share the room with very authentic, inspirational, driven & motivated nurses. I hope this has inspired our future nurse leaders continue to have the burning desire to be proud of being a NURSE, to change the perceptions of the nursing profession, to be brave and be bold Lia Vargas, RN HEE-EM Professional Fellow, Nursing Now England Ambassador