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'I knew I was made of the write stuff'

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So much work goes into dissertations that many are worth publishing. Don’t hide your ideas away, says staff nurse Katie Burns

katie burns

katie burns

Katie Burns

When I finished my undergraduate nurse training, I really thought that was me done with writing. I am sure I am not the only nurse to graduate and feel a sense of real relief at the thought of no more essays.

I couldn’t help but feeling, however, that the final piece of work I had done – my dissertation – was worth something. After all, I’d put in so much work, surely someone would find it interesting? I sat on it for six months while I found my feet in my new profession.

I had started work in an ICU, but six months into the job I took a chance and submitted the abstract to do a simple poster presentation at the British Association of Critical Care Nurses 2015 conference. The wait was quite long as all the abstracts were peer reviewed.

Time went by and I had almost forgotten I had submitted it. But then I received an email telling me that it had been accepted for conference and that the organisers would like me to do an oral presentation in front of roughly 40 people. I felt a mixture of nerves and excitement.

I thought it was amazing that I was being asked to speak in front of all those people who were so much more senior than myself. When the day finally came, I was terrified. It didn’t help that there were many more than 40 people in the room – people who were interested in what I had to say.

Everyone was so supportive and as my nerves abated I ended up having a lot of fun talking about my project. Afterwards I was greeted with many questions and people congratulating me on my first presentation. Everybody told me it was great to see newly qualified nurses presenting and getting involved and that perhaps I should publish my work.

My first year in nursing saw me completely change my mind about writing – why shouldn’t we showcase the work that we put so much into? Months of work go into dissertations, and they shouldn’t simply be put away in draws and forgotten about. Let’s get them out there and show people the work you should be so proud of!

Katie Burns is a staff nurse working in critical care at Nottingham City Hospital

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Congratulations!
    I love writing as well
    Writing is a skill and a talent and an art
    Writing has to be interesting and inviting

    What was your dissertation about?
    I would love to read it


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