In Conversation with Nursing Pioneers: the COVID-19 Pandemic

12 May 2021 17:30 - 19:00



Join us to look back at the impact of the pandemic and its lessons for the future of nursing in this RCN Fellows event for Nurses Day 2021.
Ever since Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, nurses have blazed a trail in healthcare. They have pioneered improvements in practice, carried out cutting-edge research and advanced education: all with the aim of developing patient care. Yet how many of us know the stories of nursing innovators in more recent times? Since 1976, the Royal College of Nursing has recognised these innovative individuals by awarding Fellowships. The Roll of Honour lists almost 200 RCN Fellows who have made exceptional contributions to advancing the science and practice of nursing and improving health and patient care.

This event, hosted by nurse and author of The Language of Kindness Christie Watson, is the first in a series highlighting significant contributions to nursing. We will hear from three RCN Fellows – Jane Ball, Tara Bartley and Ruth Oshikanlu – about the challenges and opportunities the COVID-19 pandemic has presented for nursing.

This event is free and open to all. Please register to attend and a link will be circulated in advance with instructions on how to join the event. All tickets must be booked individually.


Christie Watson was a registered paediatric nurse for twenty years. She spent most of her career in paediatric intensive care in large NHS hospitals before becoming a resuscitation officer, which involved teaching and clinical work on hospital-wide crash teams. Her first non-fiction book, The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story was a Number One Sunday Times Bestseller. Her second, The Courage to Care is out now.

Ruth Oshikanlu MBE is a multi- award-winning expert Queen’s Nurse and midwife and health visitor with more than 26 years’ experience in delivering secondary and primary healthcare services in the statutory and voluntary sectors. She is the author of Tune In To Your Baby: Because Babies Don’t Come an Instruction Manual. In 2020, to celebrate The Year of The Nurse & Midwife, Ruth created a platform Nurses&Midwives Talk, to showcase the contribution of nurses and midwives and has interviewed over 300 nurses and midwives. She became an RCN Fellow in 2017.

Prof Jane Ball undertakes research about the nursing workforce in order to inform policy and practice. Having graduated as a nurse from University of Surrey, her research career started in 1990, at the Institute for Employment Studies. Since then she’s worked as a Policy Adviser at the RCN, Deputy Director of the National Nursing Research Unit (King’s College London) and joined the University of Southampton in 2014 where she is Professor of Nursing Workforce and Policy. She became an RCN Fellow in 2019.

Tara Bartley OBE. FRCN. RGN. BA Hons. MSc. NMP. Tara has nursed for 39yrs in surgery, medicine and emergency care, specialising in Critical care, Cardiothoracic & transplantation nursing. She currently works as Lead Advanced Cardiothoracic Clinical Practitioner (ACP) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham & Corporate Lead ACP, University Hospitals Sussex. Tara is an ALS instructor and has a number of publications and peer reviews for a number of journals. She undertakes National roles with the RCN and Society for Cardiothoracic surgery. She became an RCN Fellow in 2011.


Page last updated - 11/05/2021