A sense of belonging is important to all of us. That sentiment was captured by June Andrews when she collected her Chief Nursing Officers’ Lifetime Achievement trophy at last week’s Nursing Times Awards.
She said that when she became a student nurse, she did two things on her first week. She subscribed to Nursing Times and became a member of the Royal College of Nursing. “Because I wanted to belong to something.”
Professor Andrews said it was important to be surrounded by people who can “help you and stretch you” because everything that she had achieved, she had achieved through the teams that had worked with her and that “no one can do it alone”.
One of the biggest strengths I have seen working on the Nursing Times Awards (as well as our Patient Safety, Care Integration and Student Nursing Times Awards), is that of collaboration.
Nurses achieve more by doing things together and because they see more of the patient experience and their journey, they appreciate where they can add value and make a real difference.
Nurses achieve more by doing things together and because they see more of the patient experience and their journey, they appreciate where they can add value
The nurses from Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust scooped the Team of the Year Award last week by doing exactly that. Colleagues from substance misuse and A&E worked together to give presentations to children in schools to show the dangers of knife crime and alcohol and drug use. For a list of our fabulous winners and to hear from them, see ntawards.co.uk.
In public health, nurses can have a massive impact. A unified message - whether in community or acute settings - gives health interventions even greater power. But it’s not just in presenting a strong voice to the patient that nurses benefit from collaboration.
Professor Andrews extolled the virtues of research and recalled that early in her career, she was asked to give a patient a rubber ring to sit under their “sore bottom” but knew because she had read Nursing Times that this intervention was already 30 years out of date.
Sharing and learning constantly is the only way to ensure that nurses remain at the forefront of innovation and current thinking.
This was the subject of a forum on social media I attended at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement’s offices last week.
There is a range of Twitter forums (as well as our very own #NTTwitchat), such as Wenurses, Nurseshift and Nurchat, that help nurses learn from one another. Twitter is a great resource and is becoming a massive phenomenon. If you don’t know how to get started, here’s our essential guide: tinyurl.com/NTtwitterguide.
Jenni Middleton, editor
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @nursingtimesed