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RCN offering funding and mentorship to bring best practice ideas 'to life'

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The Royal College of Nursing is encouraging nurses, students and healthcare assistants to submit ideas to improve practice, with the best receiving mentorship to help implement their innovation.

In celebration of its centenary year, the RCN said it was offering mentorship and funding to staff to “showcase the very best” of the profession via its new Celebrating Nursing Practice project.

“We wanted to celebrate the very best in nursing practice”

Steph Aiken

All nursing staff, from HCAs and students to nursing leaders, are encouraged to submit their ideas for improving nursing practice, said the college.

Up to 100 entries will receive a mentor to help them move their idea forward. Three or four will also receive funding to help make their proposal a reality, or to help develop and disseminate current practice that is improving patient care.

The project also welcomes midwifery ideas and innovation that have “clear application” to nursing, said the RCN.

Under project, the RCN said it would partner entrants with an expert mentor, for example, by supporting nurses to develop a presentation for delivery a conference or to write a paper or journal article for publication.

The mentor will meet with entrants in person and by phone or Skype and use their expertise to help explore its applicability, said the RCN. Mentors will also provide proof-reading support and help further refine the project and decide next steps.

If the idea is chosen for further development, the RCN has pledged to cover the costs incurred to enable this and to disseminate further, including travel, conference attendance and submission of articles to professional journals.

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Stephanie Aiken

The time spent on the project could count towards continuing professional development hours for revalidation, added the college. All development will be funded by the RCN Foundation.

Steph Aiken, RCN deputy director of nursing, said: “Every day nurses see opportunities to improve patient care, but many just don’t have access to the support to take these ideas forward.

“In our centenary year, we wanted to celebrate the very best in nursing practice by giving nurses the chance to develop their ideas and change patient care for the better,” she said.

The deadline for submissions is Saturday 31 December. For more information or to submit an idea, visit the RCN’s Celebrating Nursing Practice webpages.

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