The Students Committee advises and consults on the development of RCN policy and activity relating to students, including recruitment of new members. It also ensures that students are fully embedded in RCN activities at all levels.
Lucy Hayes, who is studying adult nursing at the University of Birmingham, joined the Students Committee in January 2021 and represents the West Midlands. She reflects on the advantages of being part of the committee.
Be a voice for nursing students
“I want to make sure all student nurses are heard,” says Lucy. “Supporting nursing students who are in difficulties can be challenging, but also very rewarding.”
Gain peer support
“Having the committee as a support network has been really important during the pandemic, because we haven’t had the same links with our universities,” says Lucy, who is now a third-year student. “Talking to committee members helps you understand that others are facing similar issues. It’s great to have this extra community who are passionate about making nursing and student life even better.”
Make the most of networking opportunities
As part of her committee role, Lucy has set up various social networking groups in the West Midlands, including one for RCN Student Ambassadors. “I know what’s happening in all the different universities and can see if there’s anything the RCN might be able to help with,” she explains.
Increase your credibility and communication skills
“You develop a wider knowledge of the student nurse community, which means people listen to what you have to say,” Lucy says. “Good communication skills can really help when you’re on placement, especially when talking to your patients.”
Boost your self-confidence
“I wouldn’t call myself a confident person,” Lucy admits. “But I’ve found sitting on the committee has helped with my relationships, pushing me to approach people and opening doors to those I might not otherwise have met. There’s an extra impetus – and the more you do it, the more your confidence grows.”
She’s been involved in creating a variety of webinars and podcasts. “I would never have thought of myself doing something like this, that anyone can listen to, as I just didn’t feel brave enough, but I’ve done it. And that’s been really satisfying,” says Lucy.
How do I join?
Nominations for the East Midlands, Northern, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South West and Yorkshire & the Humber seats are currently open, closing at 4.30pm on Friday 12 November. Find out more here.