North West Student Nurse Conference 2014

So at the beginning of September my university got the pleasure of hosting the North West Student Nurse Conference for 2014! Each year a different university in the north west with a nursing degree program get to organise a conference, very similar to the RCN congress.

The conference was organised by the lecturers in university and a group of third years who were just about to leave to start their new jobs as newly qualified registered nurses. Everyone in all three years were then emailed asking for volunteers to help run the day, I managed to recruit one of my great gal pals from uni to do it with me so I wasn't completely alone! Something you should probably learn about me at this point in the blog, I am the type of person that volunteers for everything. I currently live in the mind set that I'm only doing my nurse training once so I might as well enjoy it as everything I volunteer for always looks good in my portfolio!

The day started really early for us volunteers as I had to be there super early so it led to me getting up at 5am to get ready and get there so we could get our lovely and oh so attractive green t-shirts to wear for the day, we also got our jobs for the day and were given a mini tour as our conference was held in our newly built student union. My job first thing in the morning consisted of greeting everyone, making sure everyone had their tickets for the sessions of the day and directing them through to refreshments and the stalls. 

Very similar to the Royal College of Nursing's congress, the day started with talks by Jane Cummings, Andrea Sypropoulos and Gill Harris which were just amazing, it was insane to be in the same room as the chief nursing officer of the NHS, the president of the royal college of nursing and the regional director of nursing for the north west. These talks were a great thing to experience and really made me reflect, it also inspired and motivated me to become more determined to work hard and proved to myself that I am definitely in the right career!

Before all us 'crew' had to move everyone onto their sessions of the day we had a talk from Steve Head, this was my second time hearing him speak and let me say he is still as amazing and motivating no matter how many times you hear him! Steve is a great motivational speaker who has spoken to members of the nhs, staff and students in education and corporate companies. I originally saw him at a Care and Compassion conference that I got the opportunity to attend through my last placement with the district nurses. To be sat in a room of 400 fellow student nurses who have seen and experienced pretty much everything between them, to then hear them roaring with laughter was so nice and uplifting! You only have to go onto his website to see how adored his is by everyone that he speaks to. 

After the talks from Steve we had a selection of sessions people could attend ranging from emergency nursing (which I attended and it reaffirmed my desire to become a emergency/accident and emergency nurse) to tissue donation and the career of the chief nurse of the RULH. There was really something to interest everyone at the event.

Between both sessions everyone was treated to a lovely healthy lunch and given a chance to interact with everyone and make contacts with other students from different universities. Before an afternoon session we got another chance to have another talk from Steve Head about developing resilience, a task that is exceptionally helpful in a career that lets face it is not always the easiest career compared to most. Something really helpful and something he made particularly funny was 'Mood Hoovers' those people that on a lovely day can find the one thing that's wrong, the person that sucks the life and enthusiasm out of all the other people they work with! I felt that it was lovely to end the day with all other student nurses sat intermingled together laughing our heads off.

Have you guys ever been to these type of conferences or helped organise one with your uni?

Danielle Levy

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