Reflections from Congress - one year on

 Catherine Best 21 May 2018

After attending in 2017, Regional Board member Catherine Kelsey recommends reflecting on experiences of Congress as you look to the future.

As it’s just gone a year that I attended my very first RCN Congress as a voting member for the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Board I just want to share with you what an amazing experience it is and what a difference a year can make. 

In 2017, as you will no doubt remember, we voted for action over the summer months, called ‘A Summer of Protest’. The work and the protests undertaken then meant that in October last year the health secretary announced that the 1% cap on NHS staff pay rises would finally be scrapped. Now the RCN is consulting its members on whether to accept the deal that will see most nursing staff achieve a pay rise of at least 6.5% over three years. Progress indeed!

For all those who have attended Congress in Belfast this year, whether as a voting member or not, I really recommend that you take time out on your return to reflect upon your experience. 

Revalidation is a great way to help you achieve this and by writing it down it’s a reminder of the great time you had, the colleagues you met and ‘the buzz’ that is absolutely everywhere.  

During congress week I learned that as a union we are not afraid to debate high risk issues and that the decisions lie firmly within the hands of the voting members. I also learned that social media can be a wonderful opportunity if used wisely, to raise the profile of the work that we do.

Following on from Congress I opened up my own twitter account and am beginning to raise my own profile through this fun media. It is amazing and helps me feel part of a community that recognises the unique contribution that all nurses make to ensure the delivery of high quality patient care, every single day of the year. 

Follow me on Twitter: @CKelseyUoB 

Catherine Kelsey

Catherine Best

Nursing Lecturer, University of Bradford

Catherine is a nursing lecturer at the University of Bradford and is module leader for the Advanced Physical Assessment and Clinical Decision Making Skills module.

Her contribution to nursing has been recognised by being awarded the title of Queen's Nurse by the Queen's Nursing Institute and becoming a nominated member of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Page last updated - 06/04/2020