As representatives of the School of Health Sciences, Midwifery student, Kirsty Rowland and mental health nursing student Ben Horton were privileged to join the Florence Nightingale Foundation in London, at their Students’ Day.
The Florence Nightingale Foundation is a charitable organisation that supports nurses and midwives with scholarships, mentoring and perhaps,most importantly, to give them some of the recognition they so richly deserve.
The event is attended by student representatives from a number of universities across the UK and helps to raise awareness of Florence Nightingale, her legacy amongst student nurses and midwives, and to highlight the work of this Foundation as a living memorial to her.
Held on the 17th May, students had the opportunity to raise issues about their experiences of working in healthcare in an open environment. The experienced and diverse panel, (which included Sir Robert Francis QC and Geoffrey Walker, OBE ) were able to guide them and made suggestions on how they might approach the issues affecting them.
The day then continued with an afternoon visit to the Florence Nightingale Museum, located in the St. Thomas’ Hospital, where they were able to explore parts of the hospital where Florence Nightingale herself had worked. The day finally concluded in the most fitting way as the students crossed the river and joined the rest of the congregation to attend the service to celebrate the life of Florence Nightingale at Westminster Abbey.
Having heard from some living ‘Nightingales’ about their time as nurses, this was a time to reflect with pride on the history of their professions, but also look forward to the innovative future of nursing and midwifery.
Ben Horton said: “For me what I found to be of most use was being in an environment where there is such high regard and recognition for the role nurses and midwifes play within health care. In this day and age it is not hard to be surrounded by negative press and at times, low levels of morale amongst the work force in the NHS. By meeting fellow students and the Foundation’s panel we were able to address contemporary and future concerns including staffing, budgets, research and training.
It was also great to meet and talk with the panel including Geoffrey Walker OBE who is the chair of the Florence Nightingale Foundation panel, and Matron at Poole Hospital. He is truly an inspiring person who handed us students a lot of knowledge and inspiration to take into future practice and to feedback to our fellow and future
If you are interested in studying for a integral career in nursing or midwifery where you can make a difference, apply today!