The last few months have certainly shown us just how amazing yet challenging nursing and caring can be, you have demonstrated your dedication and professionalism in the face of extensive pressures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
I have been part of the RCN for many years and in recent years wanted to get my voice heard more and make a positive contribution to the governance of the RCN. I was elected to the Eastern Region board and I am the current chair. I thought I knew how the RCN worked but being a board member has given me greater insight into the governance processes within the RCN and I am now a working part of those governance processes.
My name is Francis Miller and, for those who don’t already know me, I am the RCN UK Student Committee member for the Eastern region. As our student members continue to work so hard through the current pandemic situation, I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you a bit more about myself and my background. But I’d also like to urge any students who would like to get in touch with me about any issues they’d like to discuss to please do so.
A few years ago, I decided to be part of a worthy nursing family and I chose the RCN. As part of this family, I felt that my voice must be heard contributing positively and so I became involved in the governance of RCN activity in the region.
Since my last message to you at the start of March much has changed, for you as nursing staff and for the public in general. I know you have worked incredibly hard to adapt to new ways of working and to deal with a huge increase in pressure on services, both in hospitals, in care homes and in the community. On behalf of the region, I want to thank you for your dedication and hard work.
As you’ll be aware, 2020 marks the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Many of you will be taking part in special events in your workplace to mark this celebration and members of RCN Eastern staff are also looking forward to attending many of these events.
For the past three-and-a-half years Brexit has dominated the headlines, not only in the United Kingdom but all over the world. It can probably be considered one of the most important events of the recent history - an event that has defined a generation, an event that has divided families, communities and areas within the United Kingdom. And an event that will be happening very soon.
I went to Ghana as the opportunity for an overseas insight placement was offered by my university, Anglia Ruskin, and was organised by Work the World. I spend three weeks in Takoradi to develop my knowledge and understanding of international health care provision and experience nursing in a completely different environment.
As nurses we all know about the terrible impact a shortage of nursing staff has in the workplace.
As the action needed to tackle the issue of nursing shortages becomes an extreme challenge, it is clear that you, our members, will be the driving force in highlighting the problem.