When my project proposal to develop a writing workshop was accepted, I felt quite privileged. I looked forward to helping develop writing for publication skills and creating an insight into this rewarding aspect of nursing practice.
The project would be developed as part of the Celebrating Nursing Practice initiative, launched as part of the RCN centenary.
In June 2017, along with my fellow participants, I attended a meeting in London RCN Headquarters to learn more about the initiative and meet our mentors who would support us with the development of our individual projects. The day started with a resounding commitment to providing high quality patient care through the development of our projects and, it was for me, a time of reflection as to how I made it there. We were given supporting resources, insight into the RCN library facilities available, and ideas for how we could get our work published and raise our professional profiles.
My project focuses on writing for publication and whilst multiple opportunities exist for nurses to contribute to publications, many of the perceived barriers can seem insurmountable. However, a plethora of support exists that can empower nurses to share learning experiences, ideas, innovation within practice, and personal opinions that enrich nursing as a profession.
I had given myself a significant challenge and as with many projects, things changed as it developed. Having originally planned a one-day writing retreat for primary care nurses, this became six 30 minute workshops for 3rd year students entering their final year. The programme was then focussed on writing conference abstracts and providing tips on how to present.
Feedback from the workshops was positive and the insight gained enabled students to think about how they could develop professionally in years to come.
It is essential that we continue to celebrate professional nursing practice in all its forms. Much of what we do as nurses is hidden from sight and disappointingly we limit opportunities to enable our voice to be heard and our contributions recognised, for we fail to recognise the importance of writing for publication.
The Celebrating Nursing Practice initiative has been a wonderful opportunity to raise the profile of our profession. Putting ourselves forward for such projects enables us to gain the support to develop professionally, to improve practice and empower the nursing profession as a whole, whilst ultimately improving patient care.
This year will see all the fully developed Celebrating Nursing Practice projects published by the RCN in a library of good practice. A select few will receive funding for further development, potentially turning into an innovation that could become standard practice.
As with any project, many people contribute so I'd like to say a big thank you to the RCN for believing in my ideas, my manager who enabled this project to happen, and my mentor who talked through my ideas and ultimately helped to shape my project. I'd also like to thank those students at the University of Bradford who attended the programme, gave excellent feedback and contributed to the overall success of my writing workshops and the RCN Celebrating Nursing Practice project.