Congress 2019 was a busy and very interesting time for the RCN and all delegates who attended especially from our region. I hope you had the opportunity to read my Congress daily blogs highlighting the key issues and perhaps you caught my live tweets from the Congress auditorium. Congress provided an opportunity for everyone to look at key issues affecting nursing today and the chance for members to have their say.
The rural health care debate was impassioned and hard hitting, Jody Ashford, one of our Devon students and Martin Tuckett, also from Devon, spoke to the resolution from personal experience.
I have had the great fortune to have been funded to attend Congress for the last four years as I have held a variety of elected positions in the RCN. I am currently the Chair of RCN Plymouth Branch, so this year I decided to self-fund my attendance to enable more branch members to attend this fantastic event and, I hope, get the RCN Congress bug.
Wednesday was another busy action-packed day here at RCN Congress and I cannot start without saying what stars the South West delegates have been. Each and every one has engaged and so many have spoken to or presented agenda items.
In the main conference hall we started Tuesday with a short film on the work of the RCN Foundation which was quite moving as we heard from nurses suffering hardship and the Foundation gave financial support.
Last night Congress opened to a rousing speech from RCN President Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, followed by the annual awards ceremony.
We kicked off the proceedings with the AGM. Sue Warner, Chair of RCN Council, gave a great speech which included a clip from a video which focused on black and minority ethnic people and prejudice. It was very thought provoking and powerful.
RCN Council met on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 April at RCN headquarters in London. Day one was the confidential session for RCN Council members only and on day two we were joined by the regional board chairs, the RCN executive team and regional directors. Day two was live-streamed to members.
I was down in Cornwall on holiday earlier this month and it gave me the perfect excuse to attend the Cornwall’s branch meeting in the village of Probus.
Member Clare Squires was moved to share this with us saying “I loved the poems on the RCN Bulletin webpages and thought you may like one I wrote a while back for school nursing, basing it on the old ‘what do you see nurse’ poem I read when I first started nursing in the 1980s”.