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Leadership in nursing education: facing challenges, creating opportunities

RCN Education Forum National Conference & Exhibition 2019

12 Mar 2019 08:15 - 13 Mar 16:45

Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, Broad Street, Bristol, BS1 2EL

This conference will support you as a health care educator. Learn about the latest developments in nursing education and practice, share good practice through facilitated discussions and network with colleagues from across the UK

The theme of this year’s conference – leadership in nursing education: facing challenges, creating opportunities – will explore how leaders exist at all levels, from the board to the ward, and will explore how good leadership can inspire, motivate and engage staff in delivering results against a background of enormous change in the NHS and challenges of recruitment and retention in the nursing profession. 

Hear from inspiring keynote speakers sharing their knowledge and experiences. Explore different models of leadership, understand the skills of an effective leader and how we can attract and support talented diverse leaders in the nursing profession.

Hear from nursing peers across the UK on the innovative work being carried out in their area to recruit, retain and develop a first class nursing workforce. 

Be part of the nurse education community: join the discussion, make your voice heard and help to influence the future of nursing education in the UK.

Join in the discussion: #RCNED19        @theRCN        


RCN Partners in Practice Scheme Winners:

Catherine S. M. Blyth, Student Nurse, University of South Wales – her poster presentation ”Developing Leadership Skills from International Placements - Students' Perspective” will be displayed on Tuesday 12th March

Elizabeth Jefferis, Student Nurse, Bournemouth University – her poster presentation “The student voice: The effect of peer group supervision on empowering and motivating leadership and change among student groups” will be displayed on Wednesday 13th March



Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel
Broad Street

Train - Temple Meads Station is 0.8 miles away from the venue

Great Western Railway Conference Fares

Standard return travel between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington is now available at a reduced rate of £44 on any service, including peak trains, whilst First Class return travel between the two destinations is £89. Route maps and fares for both standard and first class travel, as well as the full terms and conditions are available from the links below.

For full terms & conditions and booking instructions please visit:

Please click here to download more information on Great Western Railway Conference Fares

Please click here to book your accommodation

The call for abstracts has now closed

The Scientific committee will meet on 25 October 2018 to review submissions. Submitters can expect to be notified via email with the outcome week commencing 5th November 2018. The final programme will be announced in the week commencing 12 November 2018.

What if I am successful?

If selected to present at the conference you will receive written confirmation which will detail the presentation format, time and date of the slot being offered to you.  If you are happy to accept the offer to present, the lead submitter will need to complete an abstract acceptance form and ensure you and the named co-presenter register for the conference by the prescribed deadline as set out in the letter.

To qualify for the presenter rate you will need to ensure the conference booking form and payment is made within the prescribed deadline. 

Only the main presenter and one named co-presenter will be eligible to qualify for the presenter rate to attend the conference if presenting a concurrent, ViPER or poster. Symposium submissions make one presenter per paper eligible for the presenter rate up to a maximum of 5 presenters. 

The conference committee regrets it is unable to meet any accommodation, travel or subsistence expenses. You can download a booking form at: or call 02920546460 to book your place.  


All presenters are fully responsible for ensuring the content of their abstract and presentation does not infringe any existing third party copyright or other intellectual property right. 

Presenters are therefore required to confirm at the time of submitting their abstract online that they are either the copyright owner of the work being submitted as part of the abstract for presentation at this conference, or that they have obtained the written permission of the copyright owner(s) to present their work at the event. This also applies to the use of any drawing, photography or other illustration, or multi-media content included in the presentation. 

All abstracts submitted which are subsequently accepted for presentation will be published in a book of abstracts which will be made available on the website ahead of the Conference for delegates to download. The book of abstracts may also be published after the conference in both print and electronic format and stored in the RCNs library. The RCN may also look to record presentations at the conference to broadcast after the event via the RCN website or any of its associated educational platforms. 

If your work is accepted for presentation you will be sent a speaker form for completion which will detail the intended uses of your work and enables you to agree or opt out of any of the above uses. If you have any queries regarding copyright and intellectual property permissions please contact

What if I am unsuccessful?

If you are unsuccessful the scientific committee will be able to provide individualised constructive feedback to you. To request this please contact 

And remember just because your aren’t successful this time doesn’t preclude you from submitting your work to future RCN call for papers. We would still hope to see you participate in the conference as a delegate.

Any questions?

If you have any questions regarding the submissions process or outcome of your submission please contact Liz Russ, Events Organiser, on 02076473577.


Professor Laura Serrant OBE PhD, MA, BA, RGN, PGCE, Professor of Nursing

Laura Serrant

We are delighted to confirm Professor Laura Serrant as the first keynote confirmed to speak on diversity leadership.  

Professor Laura Serrant is Professor of Nursing at Sheffield Hallam University in Health and Social Care Research (HSCR), Faculty of Health and Wellbeing. She is an appointed Ambassador for the Equality Challenge Unit for HE and was formerly a Non-executive Director at Heart of England Foundation Trust and Skills for Health Academy, England. In 2016 Laura completed an 18-month secondment at NHS England in the Chief Nursing Officer’s Nursing Directorate as Head of Evidence and strategy, evaluating the impact of the national Compassion In Practice strategy for nurses, midwives and care staff. She works Internationally with researchers and policy makers in Europe, Brazil, Canada, USA and The Caribbean.
In 2014 she received 3 national Leadership awards from the HSJ (top 50 most inspirational women in Healthcare, Clinical leaders and BME Pioneers) and was also awarded Queens Nurse status by the Queens Nursing Institute. Professor Serrant has an extensive publication record including book contributions, journal articles, editorials and critical discussion papers, vast experience in media work, public speaking and workshop facilitation. Her research and development work focuses on health disparities and diversity leadership. She has developed and published a new theoretical framework for conducting research in this area of work ‘The Silences Framework’. Her commitment to equality of opportunity, determination and leadership skills enable her to demonstrate this formally and informally with policy makers, charities, third sector organisations, colleagues and the local communities through mentorship, effective management and a sense of humour.  Earlier this year Laura was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for her work on health policy development.
Follow Laura on twitter: @lauraserrant

Professor Steven West CBE, DL Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, Chair of West of England Academic Health Science Network and President of the Anchor Society, Bristol 

 Steven West 

We are delighted to announce Professor Steven West as the second confirmed speaker whose keynote will focus on supporting mental health and wellbeing. Professor West will be discussing the important work being carried out by the UUK mental health in universities working group which he currently Chairs and resultant stepchange initiative.

Professor Steve West took up the post of Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of the West of England Bristol in 2008. 

Steve trained as a Podiatrist and Podiatric Surgeon in London and developed his research interests in Lower Limb Biomechanics and the Diabetic Foot at King’s College London. He worked as a clinician and clinical tutor in the NHS, University Sector and undertook research and consultancy in industry and the retail healthcare sectors.

He holds a number of national and international advisory appointments in Higher Education and in his clinical discipline, healthcare policy and practice.  He is Non-Executive Director for the Office for Students and Chair of the UUK Mental Health in Higher Education Working Group.  He is also a member of both the Education and the Diversity Honours Committees.

He is Chair of the West of England LEP, Chair of the West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) and Non-Executive Director for the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. 

Professor West is a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gloucestershire and was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year's Honours list 2017, for services to Higher Education. Follow Steven on twitter: @VCUWE

Dame Jackie Daniel, CEO, The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Jackie Daniel 

We are delighted to announce Dame Jackie Daniel as the third confirmed speaker whose keynote will focus on the role of leadership in empowering and motivating staff and changing organisational culture. 

Dame Jackie joined Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as Chief Executive Officer in 2018.

Dame Jackie began her NHS professional career as a nurse before moving into NHS management.  She has been a Chief Executive Officer for the last 16 years and has led Acute, Mental Health and a Specialist Trust.  She is former Chief Executive Officer of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust which she joined in 2012 and led out of special measures.

Dame Jackie was recognised in the 2017 Queen’s New Year’s Honours for her services to health care.  She has a degree in Nursing Studies, a Masters degree in Quality Assurance in Health and Social Care and is a qualified business and personal coach.

An Executive in Residence with Lancaster University Management School.  An avid commentator on NHS related issues such as integrated care systems and creating a sustainable NHS for future generations.  Passionate about the role leadership plays.  A strong advocate of the creation of diverse leadership and the promotion of women in leadership roles.  A firm believer in liberating potential through engaging and supporting people.

Follow Jackie on twitter: @JackieDanielNHS

Bev Matthews RN MSc, Transformation Associate - Horizons Group, NHS England

We are delighted to announce Bev Matthews as our fourth keynote who will be discussing the challenge of change. 

As the transformation associate for Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery, Bev is creating the conditions for nurses and midwives to have the support to build positive perceptions for themselves and their profession(s). She is developing a virtual community for sharing, learning, networking and connecting to reverse the current decline in recruitment and retention, using diverse approaches for engagement such as virtual hackathons, crowdsourcing and zoom sessions.

Bev is a Registered Nurse who has recently completed a Return to Practice course; she continues to remain clinically connected by working on the frontline. She was voted 'Top Mover and Shaker' for her work in raising awareness of the need for organ donation and transplantation, and received a Highly Commended HSJ award as part of a team developing a year of care commissioning approach for people with complex care needs.

Follow Bev on Twitter: @BevMatthews_




Presenter rate - £212.50 plus VAT (£255.00)


RCN member - £250.00 plus VAT (£300.00)

Non-member - £375.00 plus VAT (£450.00)

Book 3 or more places together at the same time to save 10% from each booking fee.

Further discounts apply: see flyer for details.

Not a member? Join the RCN now and qualify for the discounted membership rates for this conference. Find out more 

Being funded by an employer to attend? RCN Events can provide an invoice for your attendance
Just complete a booking form and ask your finance team to send this along with a purchase order to


For any queries please call 02076 473577

Booking form here


To book your place, contact the RCN Event Registrations Team

Melissa O’Dwyer, Business Events Organiser
02076 473577



Online bookings are the easiest and fastest way to book 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Bookings can be made by phone with payment by credit card/Maestro, by calling: 02920546460. Lines are open from 9.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Bookings can also be made by post with a downloaded booking form with credit card details or payment/remittance advice posted to: Event registrations, PO Box 2329, Cardiff CF23 8YZ.
A booking form with credit card details or payment/remittance advice can also be faxed to: 02920546489.

Payment by invoice is available on request. A Purchase Order and booking form are required.

All bookings will be confirmed in writing. 

The RCN reserves the right to refuse any booking at any time.


This conference provides you with an unrivalled opportunity to connect directly with a significant group of leading UK nurse educationalists.

There are a number of ways to be involved with the exhibition and conference programme. 

To discuss exhibition and sponsorship packages please contact Jenny Burrows on 01442870143 or email:



Stand 1: EMD

Stand 2: Bristol University

Stand 3: AD Instruments

Stand 4: Class  Professional Publishing

Stand 5: Sage Publishing

Stand 7: NMC

Stand 8: My Knowledge Map

Stand 9: MGP Ltd

Stand 10: Arc technology

Stand 11: LV=

Stand 12: RCN

Stand 13: Pebble Pad

Stand 15: Cambridge Assessment English

Stand 16: NHS Leadership Academy

Acceptance and registering

If you are happy to present your work at the conference, please complete the acceptance form below and email to  by no later than 5pm on Friday 30th November 2018

Abstract Presenter Acceptance Form 

All presenters need to register and pay to attend the conference. The presenter rate is £212.50 plus VAT (£255.00). Please note the presenter rate is not available to book on the website to please complete contact the events registration team on 02920546460 to book. If you require an invoice please send a completed booking form and purchase order to All presenters must be registered by 4.30pm on Friday 11th January 2019.


Presenter guidance

Please find below some guidance which will assist you in preparing to present at the conference

Concurrent Presentation Guidelines

Guidelines for First Time Presenters

Poster Presentation Guidelines

Symposium Presentation Guidelines

Vipers Guidelines 

Intellectual Guidelines FAQ

If you have any queries which aren’t answered by the above guidelines please contact

Why attend?

A health care educator interested in the future of nursing education and practice in the UK? This conference provides an unrivalled opportunity to learn latest developments, share good practice and network with colleagues.

Benefits of attending:

Accrue over 17 hours of CPD to count towards your revalidation
Discover the latest developments and research in the field of nursing education. 
Hear from colleagues on their projects. Reflect on their findings and explore how you can use this knowledge to improve your practice.
Hear from eminent keynote speakers on contemporary nursing issues. 
Attend themed sessions, conveyed by expert facilitators, participate and contribute to the discussions and debate. 
Use this opportunity to network with your peers, mentor and support colleagues and showcase the work of your employer 
Use the opportunity to ask the RCN those questions you want answers to 

Need a helping hand with securing time off or funding to attend? Please download these helpful hints and tips as well as a template letter you can use.

And find out the top 5 reasons everyone should attend a conference for their professional development read more


Is this conference for me?

The conference is open to RCN members and non-members.  The conference is aimed to support nurses and HCA's, as well as allied healthcare professionals, working in the academic, clinical and professional setting in the UK and overseas. This includes those working in NHS, private and voluntary sectors, universities and colleges. 

Students and those wishing to pursue a career in nursing education are also welcome to attend.

Here’s what some of 2018’s  delegates had to say:
"Excellent networking opportunity and chance to share good practice with the national nursing community, also a good chance to come together to talk through and consider solutions to national challenges."
"I would recommend the conference for the variety of concurrent sessions, the networking opportunities, and the willingness of delegates to share experiences and resources."
"Thought provoking and inspiring, good to discuss practice and develop ideas for positive changes"
"A wide range of opportunities to learn more about what is currently going on in nurse education"
"Elements of the conference that I could apply to my own practice and that I could take back and offer to colleagues."
"It is an excellent opportunity to learn and network"
The RCN Foundation exists to provide vital support to members of the nursing community so that they can continue to improve the health and well-being of the public. Grants are awarded to fund a wide variety of learning and development opportunities, providing the support individuals need to make a difference to quality patient care. To find out more about the RCN Foundation’s educational grants please visit


Students in Partnership

To help pre-registration nursing student members gain experience of presenting professional nursing knowledge, the RCN is offering two discretionary funded places at this conference to eligible students who submit an abstract which is accepted for presentation. Each student will be supported with the costs of their travel and accommodation of attending on the day they are presenting up to a maximum of £300.00.To be eligible you must be an RCN member and be a pre-registration nursing student undertaking a recognised nursing course in the UK at the time of completing your abstract submission. Please note that the student in partnership award recipient will need to register and pay to attend the conference (£150.00 plus VAT for RCN member students).

Best first time presenter award

A best first time presenter prize will be awarded for the conference, this will be judged by the RCN Education Forum Scientific Committee members.

Best poster prize

A best poster prize will be awarded for day one and day two of the conference, as voted for by conference delegates.


Why present?

By submitting your abstract for this conference you can share knowledge on latest developments within the academic and practice setting, reflect and build on your work and meet like-minded professionals shaping the future of nursing education and practice. Benefits of presenting your abstract include:

  • A platform to showcase your work and your employer on a national level
  • Have your research recognized by your peers and receive constructive reviews
  • Demonstrate your initiative and commitment to the future of nurse education
  • A learning opportunity to develop your communication and presenting skills
  • An excellent opportunity for networking, expanding your knowledge and promoting your work within the UK.

Who can present?

Whether you are a first time or experienced presenter, if you are passionate about the future of nursing education and have a piece of innovative learning to share we want to hear from you!
We welcome submissions from healthcare educators across the UK and the globe working in the academic, clinical and professional setting. This includes those working in NHS, private and voluntary sectors, universities and colleges. This conference is open to RCN members and non-members alike.
Students and those wishing to pursue a career in nursing education are also invited to submit an abstract.
Here’s what 2018’s presenters and attendees thought:

"Good opportunity to look at developments in nurse education and networking"
"It offers a great opportunity to network, extend your own professional development- I presented a poster which has now provided me with an additional set of presentation skills"
"Good exposure for your work"
"Great opportunity to showcase our work in our own clinical practice."
"Interesting to hear from a national perspective some of the excellent projects that are going on and the difference this makes to patient care."
"Thought provoking and inspiring, good to discuss practice and develop ideas for positive changes"
" A very informative event that gives nurses the opportunity to share celebrate innovative practice nationally"
"A good chance to come together to talk through and consider solutions to national challenge"


View the latest version of the programme

View the book of abstracts

View the poster listing 

View the ViPER posters: The Big Conversation: Let's talk about death, The Innovative Future of Nurse Education - Immerse yourself in the world of Virtual RealityGrowing the future of nursing; a grassroots approach to supervisionCoproducing resources to enhance learning in practice as part of the STEP project

Conference pre-meet

Social drinks for first time attendees will be held at Keeper’s Bar, Mercure Grand Bristol Hotel on Monday 11th March at 6pm (cash bar facility).
Buddying scheme
If you have registered interest in the buddying scheme please attend the workshop on Tuesday at 9.00am for first time attendees: making the most of attending. This session will take place in room: Duchess 2 and will be led by members of the RCN Education Forum who will provide you with tips and buddy you up with fellow delegates.

If you have attended this conference previously and are keen to help new-comers feel welcome and included by volunteering to be a buddy please contact

First time presenters

We are delighted to announce there will be a workshop designed specifically to support first time presenters which will take place on Tuesday morning at 8.30am in room: Duchess 1. This workshop, led by members of the RCN Education Forum who are experienced presenters, will give you an overview of the conference and what is expected of you as a presenter.

You can also join and follow our social media conversations on twitter before the event: 


Page last updated - 11/03/2019