As a student nurse, I am incredibly grateful that I had previously studied at Hull and also worked there for over 2 years so I understand a lot of how ‘being a student works’ and know a fair bit about what the staff do, too. I’m also glad that because of that, I knew just how much support is available through the university and through the Students’ Union.
I used this knowledge to successfully start Hull University Nursing Society. We recruited over 120 members in less than 6 months and can without a shadow of a doubt say we’ve benefited the experience of student nurses. The committee have formed a fantastic team who have given each other daily support, which personally, if I’d been without this, I’m not sure I’d still be on the course. The community we’ve formed with committee and members has been the highlight of my year, along with the relationship with nursing staff and the Students’ Union.
We’ve also helped to improve the course representative system, where previously there were only a few active people, we now have over 20 active student nurse voices across all fields and years collaborating with each other to ensure the best for students and their experience. With so much change fuelled by Covid 19 including the transition to online learning and ongoing conversations surrounding placements, this has been invaluable.
With that, I’m now taking the lessons learned through my past experiences, Hull University Nursing Society and the work done with course representatives to a new role on the RCN Students Committee, representing the Yorkshire and Humber region.
The RCN (Royal College of Nursing) is the world’s largest union and professional body for nursing. They represent professional interests and support members with free, confidential advice and support on employment matters, career development and much more. They campaign and lobby tirelessly for improvements in healthcare, such as the #FairPayForNursingCampaign. The RCN is member led, so I will be ensuring that the RCN’s work reflects the needs of student nurses in the Yorkshire and Humber region.
I’m excited to get started but especially with the current circumstances, will not underestimate how much this will take. Because of this, I’ve made the decision to step down as President of Hull University Nursing Society. I’m delighted to announce the new President will be Chantelle Collier (former Vice-President) and the new VP will be Ellis Pulford (former Events Officer).
I’m sure you’ll get to know the incredible work they’ve been doing behind the scenes over the next few months, but Chantelle has been pretty much solely responsible in developing our incredible website (this one!) as we went online. She spent many, many, many hours doing this and we hope you love the results. She’s produced a regular family updates on the website giving great ideas of nursing related things to do with your family (or inner child). She has also been a gem to work with, regularly checking in on individual committee members to see how they are and been an ear through many of my tears (socially distanced, of course!).
Ellis has been championing wellbeing and mental health, creating and developing #WellnessWednesday through social media. He’s hosted two online quizzes so far and been a source of enthusiasm especially while the rest of us were fatigued with placement and/ or assignments. He’s also the one who creates our fantastic logos and posters. He has many more fantastic ideas which I personally look forward to seeing develop.
Chantelle and Ellis are just two members of our incredible committee. I’m highlighting their work because of their new roles as President and Vice-President, but other members of the committee have worked just as hard and have lots to be proud of too.
So (in no particular order) – Phillipa Howell (Treasurer), Naomi Broadhead (Secretary), Laura Greaves (Social Media Officer), Mandi Jackson (Student Recognition Officer), Rhianna Sykes (Education Officer) and previous committee members Emma Gee and Ashley Kemp – THANK YOU for everything you do and have done.
I’ll be continuing in the Nursing Society committee in the role of Advocacy Officer until the next committee are elected to champion raising the student voice. I look forward to starting my new role on the RCN Students Committee and really look forward to see what the Nursing Society do this year and in the future!
Please note – the society isn’t affiliated with RCN in any respect, there are other nursing unions available, this is simply a reflection of Sam’s personal experiences.