As a RCN History of Nursing Society group member in 2017, I responded to a request for volunteers in the history newsletter and applied to be part of a group of volunteers working on the Service Scrapbooks First World War project.
I had a fantastic time, learning about paper conservation, new skills such as transcribing, being involved in RCN exhibitions, open house events and met some great people who were volunteers and worked alongside RCN events and library staff. When the project finished I was keen to continue with more hands on RCN involvement, so when vacancies were advertised for the History of Nursing Steering Committee last year I decided to put my name forward. After submitting a CV and application form, I was invited for an informal interview at RCN HQ in autumn 2018 and was delighted to be successful in securing one of the two vacancies.
Since then I have attended an induction with all the other 2018 appointees to steering committees, been involved in Forum teleconferences and attended the face-to-face annual strategy day. My fellow committee members have been welcoming and helpful .I am already becoming involved in the work of the group including taking shared responsibility for the new History of Nursing Society Facebook group page and volunteering to chair a joint nursing history with the Queen’s Nursing Institute meeting in Sheffield in July as part of the range of events for the Aspects of Age Exhibition. I have learnt more about how the fantastic exhibitions in Cavendish Square are organised and planned and how the forums can work together planning nursing events. HoN committee members work closely with our professional lead, Teresa Doherty, the joint Head of the Library and Archive service and events staff planning for upcoming exhibitions on the centenary of nurse registration and Florence Nightingale’s bi centenary in 2020.
I would encourage anyone thinking of becoming more involved in their RCN specialist forum to apply for the upcoming steering committee vacancies. These have now been advertised and the term of office is for a period of 4 years, you do not need to based in London to participate. The History of Nursing Forum has four vacancies on the steering committee this year, so if you have a passion for nursing history take the plunge and join us.