Last week I found myself sat between Viv Bennett, the Director of Nursing for the Department of Health, and David Foster, the Deputy Director of Nursing.
Across the table sat Jane Cummings and Dr Peter Carter.
I was terrified whenever someone asked me a question, worried that I would let the student side down
And then there was me, a second year student nurse.
I was terrified whenever someone asked me a question, worried that I would let the student side down!
But they seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say, as they should be, because the Student Nursing Times Awards were all about celebrating students, and letting our voice be heard.
I had the privilege of meeting some fantastic students, caremakers, lecturers and education providers. The nurses of the future, and those who shaped them. I was able to judge the award for mentor of the year, and I found myself becoming incredibly jealous that I hadn’t had these fantastic nurses as my mentor! The winners and nominees were absolutely inspiring, and I feel safe in the knowledge that we are the future of nursing.
We work 12-hour shifts for no money, we are often the people sat by the patients bedside, we are eager to learn, eager to help and eager to care
At a time when students seem to be taking quite a lot of flack in the press, it was so uplifting to be in a room where we were praised and recognised for all that we do.
We work 12-hour shifts for no money, we are often the people sat by the patients bedside, we are eager to learn, eager to help and eager to care.
We are told that we won’t be as good as nurses trained 30 years ago, and we are told that we do not care. We are trying to develop into the best nurses we can be in one of the most turbulent times in the history of the NHS. And it was about time we got some much-needed recognition.
Thank you to Jenni and her team for making us feel valued, even if it was for a day.
Sarah Jones is the adult branch student nurse editor for Student Nursing Times.