The University of Plymouth has hosted a conference focused on the wellbeing of students who will become future nurses, midwives, and nursing associates.
Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, and Jess Read, Deputy Chief Midwifery Officer, NHS England, were the keynote speakers at the
School of Nursing and Midwifery, held on Friday 14 July.
The University of Plymouth has around 1,500 nursing and midwifery students in Plymouth, Exeter and Cornwall. Current graduate outcomes are 100% in adult and mental health nursing.
"As a lecturer in Adult Nursing, I am keen to ensure that our students are able to deal with the stresses and challenges that they will encounter on their courses and later when they are working in the healthcare system. I am so proud to have been involved in the committee that organised this conference. It shows that the University of Plymouth is committed to the wellbeing of our student Nurses, Nursing Associates and Midwives, not only now whilst they are students, but into their professional careers." – Timothy Murray, Lecturer in Adult Nursing (Plymouth Campus)
The conference featured breakout workshops covering areas that affect wellbeing: music, movement, exploration and creation. Exhibitions stands representing sources of wellbeing strategies including Thornbury Nursing Services, the Cavell Nurses Trust and the Laura Hyde Foundation were also present, as well as regional wellbeing activities.
“It is fantastic to be able to recognise the hard work and dedication of our students by offering a conference focusing on their wellbeing and practical techniques that they can use in their careers.” – Chloe Dyer, Lecturer in Adult Nursing (Truro campus)
“The wellbeing conference will help in my future career as my own wellbeing is important to me. I can't help to support others if I can't help myself. Nurse wellbeing is something we overlook as we put everyone else first. Gaining new skills through the conference will help me to prioritise my own wellbeing and improve my resilience.” – Michelle Cotter, Student
The event was organised by a team of students and academics, and was made possible by £10,000 of funding from Thornbury Nursing Services.
Following the conference, Jess Read said:
"Student health and wellbeing is vital and cannot be promoted enough so it was wonderful to see how the University of Plymouth had facilitated time out for these students to concentrate on their own health and wellbeing through keynote speakers and interactive, experiential workshops in the afternoon. When we look after ourselves and are kind and compassionate towards one another we begin to see the green shoots of change in our culture which has a direct impact on patient care and the care of women and their families."
And Dame Ruth May added:
“It was wonderful to see so many students attending the conference, demonstrating a commitment to their own wellbeing and to our professions. As nursing and midwifery professionals, looking after of our own health and wellbeing is so important. Taking care of ourselves gives us the opportunity to provide the best possible care for our patients.”