Not only do we speak out for the benefit of ourselves and our colleagues, we are also advocates for our patients. We have a duty to speak out when we become aware of situations or circumstances which may put our patients at risk. Patient safety is always at the forefront of our minds.
But speaking out isn’t always easy. That’s why it was so inspiring to see so many of our student nurses across the Eastern region at Congress this year in Liverpool, where speaking out is the order of the day! Those who attended were able to hear discussions on a wide range of topics affecting nurses and patients. We heard passionate debates on issues such as workforce pressures, capacity in A&E, mental health and much more. These discussions will help inform the work of the RCN over the next year, making it so important that a wide range of voices are heard.
Students from the Eastern region who attended Congress have told us what a positive experience it was. One said: “It was amazing - everyone enjoyed it and felt it has helped them develop.” Another commented: "I met many people passionate about nursing who stood up and shared their wisdom and experience during debates. Their compassionate and visionary nature reaffirmed my pride in the profession."
We’d love more students to experience the benefits of going to Congress. Next year it is taking place in Belfast on 12th-16th May. If you think this is something you would like to attend – whether as a student or a newly qualified nurse – you can registeryour interest here.
Thanks to all our students who attended this year and started the important process of getting your voices heard. We hope even more of you will come and join the debate next year.