I have had an exciting couple of days. I had the pleasure of being invited to two NHS England conferences that were held at De Montfort University Leicester! I then attended the Sepsis awareness talk held by RCN East Midlands.
The first conference I attended was ‘Changing Perceptions in Nursing and Midwifery’. There were many inspirational speakers and it was so nice to be able to meet other passionate nurses and midwives in the profession. The day made me think of how nursing and midwifery is perceived to others, such as the media, young and older people.
It also made me realise how big the nursing crises is. There are currently 44,000 nursing vacancies in the UK but less numbers of nursing students. The local mental health unit by me has 90 nursing vacancies available right now and there are only 22 mental health students on my cohort!
Later that evening, I went along to the RCN AGM and sepsis talk. It was so lovely to connect with previously met nursing students from DMU and I officially became an RCN Student Information Officer! It was so great to hear Katie Dutton (RCN student nurse of the year) talk about her experience with sepsis and help raise awareness to other medical professionals on how to spot the signs early!
The second conference I went to was called ‘Men in Nursing’. I did not quite know what to expect but I am so glad that I went! I met some amazing nurses in the profession who are all so passionate about what they do. I also met the Men In Nursing Together group (MINT) and I recommend anyone, whether you are a man or woman to join! It is about getting more men into nursing and other healthcare professions We talked about how we can get young boys interested in nursing and not have it perceived as a ‘girls’ job.
It was also nice to connect with a newly qualified nurse called Charlotte Hall. I have been following her on twitter for a while and to see that she was there, and she gave me some great advice! She said “no matter what you do, you will get people that will be jealous and question why you are doing it. But then they are the people that will come back and value your opinion and your input’. She is also part of MINT and was so pleased that I bought a badge for my lanyard!
I didn’t realise how inspirational these days would be, but it has given me more passion than ever! I cannot wait to see what the next couple of years bring me. I thought that being so early on in my career that these types of events would not be suitable for me. I know that some first year students can feel out of their depths, but it’s important to remember that these few years are the time that you need to take advantage of any opportunity that you have!