Sunday, 23 October 2011

Blogging confidence

After a short break from the blog having been away in Seattle, I plan to increase the blog membership through wider dissemination to colleagues locally, nationally and internationally. As a relative newbie to the form, blogging takes some commitment, a focus, and confidence! If I'm hoping to engage in wide debate, I had better get the blog 'out there', or I will be writing to myself:-)

So, if you are reading this, and you feel there is scope for more of us to get talking here, do feel free to pass the blog address on. Let's see if we can create some notable debate!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Seattle - but not sleepless

I'm in Seattle at the moment as part of my FNF leadership scholarship. I have had three fantastic days with faculty from Seattle University, University Washington Bothell and Renton Technical College. I had the privilege of being invited to the Puget Sound Consortiuum which is working to achieve a streamlined approach to clinical placements (as well as finding ways to increase capacity and deal with quality issues). They were fascinated to hear about the UK system but, despite the very different contexts we operate in, we are facing many of the same issues. I'm hopeful that we can sustain ongoing connections so that we can learn from each other. One of my areas of interest is retention and selection of student nurses - we had some valuable discussions about the contexts of nursing education, the impact on retention, and the factors that affect students in the States. Again, a different context but broadly similar issues.

I had an amazing day at RTC where I was invited into a reading programme for new student nurses which aims to connect students with academic reading and concepts. I'll be looking into this when I come home as there is much to learn from the approach. My favourite part of the day was when I was taken into a completion ceremony for (the equivalent of) the nursing auxiliary course. The people that I met have overcome major domestic, financial and learning barriers and it was an emotional ceremony that saw them receiving their certificates and looking to a future that they could only have dreamed of before coming into the college and being taught by their inspiring teachers.

I feel that I have caught something of the American positivity in the few days that I have been here. The welcome I have been given has been immense and I hope to continue the conversations that we started when I get back to the UK.