Calling all students!

 Nicky Hughes 9 Oct 2020

A warm welcome to new and returning RCN Wales students from Nicky Hughes, Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations).

Welcome to those first-year students who have just started out on their journey to become a registered nurse! I started my RGN training 30 years ago and remember how it was exciting - but a little overwhelming.

I can only imagine what it has been like for those of you who have moved away from home and started on a new adventure during the COVID-19 pandemic. And for those with families, the difficulties of juggling home and study. I am sure some of you are having a ball and enjoying meeting new people but am aware that for others it has been a difficult time due to local lockdowns.

I would also like to welcome back those students in their second and third years. I admire you all for sticking with your studies during this challenging time and for stepping up in whatever way you have, to support the patients we care for. I know it has been difficult for some of you and hope you have been able to get the support you need.

Rest assured RCN Wales is working with the Welsh Government and Health Education and Improvement Wales to look at the next steps during COVID-19 and we are calling for no more disruption to your studies.

Remember! The RCN is always here for our members and can provide:

• Library services to help with your research and assignments.

• Education and training sessions.

• Support in the workplace.

• Financial support.

• Health and wellbeing support.

Find out more about the RCN support and advice available.

In addition, the RCN has just launched an app for nursing students that provides the latest knowledge, expertise and support straight to your phone or the web. Find out more about the RCN Starting Out app.

It is more important than ever that we look after ourselves and have a good work life balance; I know this can be difficult when you are studying. Please make sure you take time out for yourself, enjoy time with your peers and also get the right amount of sleep, eat properly and exercise regularly. If we don’t look after ourselves then how can we look after others? Take a look at some of the RCN’s helpful resources.

As a student, there are many ways in which you can become more involved with the work of RCN Wales. You can:

• Campaign for Fair Pay for Nursing or for Safe and Effective Care.

• Use social media to talk about the nursing student experience in Wales.

Take our survey before the end of October and tell us what issues are important to you, ahead of the Welsh Parliament elections in 2021.

• Become a student ambassador and support your fellow students or nominate yourself to be the Wales representative on the RCN UK Students committee (current election nominations close Monday 12 October!)

George Cade, Student Ambassador and RCN UK Students committee member for Wales, recently talked to RCN Wales about his role and studies. Read the interview online.

I would love to hear about your experiences as a nursing student. You can tweet me – @nichughes1 – or email Take care and enjoy your studies!

Nicky Hughes

Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations) RCN Wales

Nicky has 30 years experience of working in the NHS in the specialities of inpatient acute medicine and the community setting, where she managed frontline services such as District Nursing, Prison Nursing, and those caring for the homeless and asylum seekers. In addition she commissioned care from the nursing home sector.

Page last updated - 09/10/2020