I have always been passionate about advocating for students’ rights and making the student experience the best it can possibly be. The appeal for me of joining the Students Committee was the opportunity to do that on a national level, working with other members from across the UK. The experience so far has lived up to my expectations and more.
My time on the Students Committee has really helped to develop my leadership and time management skills. As well as being great life skills to have, these are skills which are going to be crucial as a registered nurse. The most important part of nursing for me is advocacy and being an advocate for patients. Being part of an RCN Committee is taking it to an amplified level and it really helps you to build those advocacy skills. You also get to learn so much about nursing issues that are affecting other parts of the country.
When it comes to Committee meetings, we’re a friendly bunch, and you could never meet a room of more engaged people. We are all very passionate and have a lot of different opinions, but they get thrashed out leading to resolutions that are the best for everyone involved. It’s a really great opportunity to work with like-minded student nurses who really want to make things the best they can be for the profession.
All the work that I’ve done within the RCN has only amplified what I’ve been able to do within my University course. It’s made me more politically engaged and in touch with those issues we should have an awareness of as nursing students. My University have been great with allowing me time off to attend Committee meetings, RCN Congress and other engagements. Universities are generally quite good at giving you time off for that because your role with the RCN is enhancing your nursing experience. It is essentially helping you to become a better nurse.
As the Trade Union Committee student representative, you would get to sit in for the voting sessions at RCN Congress. So you’ll get to see all the debates and resolutions happening, which is one of the most exciting parts of Congress. The discussions in that room couldn’t be more current. You then get to shape the work Council will do for the next 12 months, which is a hugely exciting opportunity.
If you have a real passion for advocacy and for championing your fellow nursing students, and you truly believe you could make a difference, you should apply for the Trade Union Committee student seat. When you consider everything you have done as an SIO, you are already passionate about and engaged in the work of the RCN, and this will only elevate it for you. Not only do you get to be a part of working with registered nurses to improve their pay and terms and conditions. You also sit as an ex officio member of the Students Committee, so you get to work with students from all across the UK. It’s just a fantastic opportunity. It will enhance your CV and give you a heap of extra skills which you can take with you for the rest of your nursing career.