Pori Finland 2018 European Network of Nursing in Higher Education (ENNE)

In April 2018 six of our adult and mental health nursing students went to Pori to participate in the European Network of Nursing in Higher Education to understand more about European health care systems and nursing programmes, and to promote student exchange.

Matthew Lumsdaine, Year 2 BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

"I only have good feedback to give! 

The whole week was delivered in such a comprehensive, professional yet relaxed manner. The collaborative environment meant that I was able to learn so much through the comparisons between the health care and education systems of the attending countries. I am certain that, as health care and nursing become more influenced by globalisation, the importance in collaboration of this sort will become more and more apparent. 

I have made lots of new friends, improved my communication skills and overcome confidence barriers, I will and have recommended ENNE to my fellow students and will be applying myself next year.

It was a fantastic opportunity and an experience I will not forget."

Felicity Allman, Year 2 BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing

"There aren’t words to describe how incredible the experience was! 

Thank you so much for the opportunity. I learnt so much about nurse education and training in different countries, about the roles that nurses play across Europe, and about other cultures in general. I was challenged and rewarded many times in different ways. It was truly intensive, but we all worked hard and played hard to make the most of our experiences. I have made so many new friends and contacts, and I’m already planning trips to visit them in new countries. I have nothing but respect for the other students, who were predominantly working in their second languages, and who were so patient when I spoke too quickly or tried to use other languages. It was such a welcoming atmosphere, and I felt so privileged to have attended. I miss everyone so much already and can’t wait to start planning my Erasmus+ trip!"

Jamie King, Year 3 BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

"The Intensive Programme was an incredible week that allowed me to learn about the cultures from the different European countries in attendance, the wide range of different cultures to be immersed in would be difficult to achieve elsewhere.

Another highlight for me was the fact I have made some amazing new friends, and there are already discussions of visits to other countries to see each other again. And it wasn't only with people from different countries, I also got to know the other Plymouth students during this week and we have discussed regular meetings to catch up and offer support to each other in our studies."

"Lastly, but most importantly, the learning this week was incredible, I have invaluable new knowledge of many differing healthcare systems, values and cultures, and was able to collaborate within my group to map out ideals of care planning and education for nurses informed by these different systems. I am now so much more confident in my team working skills, communication skills (particularly with new cultures), and my presentation skills (especially public speaking, having to present to 80 of my peers in our groups!).

I would like to thank you so much for the chance to go to Finland, it was an unforgettable week and I feel that I have grown an incredible amount as a person from the programme."

Sinead Coker, Year 2 BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

"The ENNE program has given me a once in a lifetime experience, not only from the first time I was on a plane but also in bringing together so many different countries to discuss our passion, our career and our programmes. The future European nurse! It really did feel amazing to realise how similar all our goals are across the countries and respect the differences. I really felt part of a forward developing programme that has widened my knowledge and experience of nursing and different cultures across Europe. Mixing cultural activities with nursing tasks made the experience fun, enjoyable and involved everyone in the teams."

"Not only did I make some new friends that are Plymouth based and felt we brought together the different aspects of nursing, but I made friends in all the countries. This has given me a new passion to travel and see the world from a nursing point of view. ENNE is an experience not to be missed! I think Jenny is an amazing tutor and to put in the dedication to the ENNE programme I really applaud her, she is an amazing leader and her enthusiasm and joy for the program is catching. 

I would love to be part of bringing the ENNE programme to Plymouth as I feel we have a lot to offer, but also feel it is a sense of pride to bring this program together as it develops the minds, spirit, knowledge and skills of all our future nurses."

Jonathan Brady, Year 2 BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

"I really enjoyed this programme, I loved getting to know a little about Finland and the Finnish. 

They were cold to start, but warmed up as you got to know them, which was just the same with the weather. I spent a little while in Helsinki in the winter sun, then travelled to Pori to cold grey days and town. Here I met first Belgian and Dutch students, who were entertaining, inclusive and thankfully spoke impeccable English. This theme continued through the week.

Gradually all my English colleagues appeared, I think we gelled immediately, though we had met only briefly before. Through the splendidly organised week, the academic side was challenging, trying to hold back from filling in gaps left by European students worried that their language was not good enough, attempting to come to agreement on just what was the perfect nurse, and then the terror and amusement of the presentations."

"But the enjoyment, and huge satisfaction of doing this meant it was a rounded experience.

I have come from this buoyed-up, with a lovely warm feeling of comradeship from the wonderful comments from all involved.

Having gone in almost blind to the activities and country, I returned with a renewed interest in travel, and education. I can only recommend this to any nursing student to relive the isolation of a Brexit facing Britain, and take from it that there are not only other ways of doing things, but there are other students and other countries after the same end point of helping patients through a dedication to improving nursing.

My apologies for this gushing, it was a great experience for me and it looked as if it was for everyone involved.

Thanks SAMK and ENNA, now to host one in Plymouth."

Ben Sanders-Crook, Year 3 BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

"Attending the ENNE program is one of the best decisions I ever made. 

The knowledge and experience I gained from the program is second to none. I feel truly privileged to be able to represent the University and England for nursing.

The education that I received about how other European nations train their nurses is invaluable. I have already mentioned things in practice that I learnt from other nationalities that I feel would make us better student nurses. The tasks that we were set were extremely well thought out. The discussion that they stimulated was fantastic and I loved working with my group to come up with unique ideas, such as our pyramids."

"The hospitality provided by SAMK was exemplary and I felt that the whole week was very well structured. The word intensive means intensive and I feel that people should be aware of this before applying, as the expectation of what is required is very high. This is not a negative as it meant we had to work together as a team to achieve our best possible outcome.
I have made many friends and constructed networks with other institutions that I feel will benefit my nursing career in the future. I have made lifelong friends and will remain in contact with many of the lovely students and staff that I had the pleasure to become acquainted with.

I will thoroughly recommend ENNE to anyone and if they don’t believe me it’s their loss as I truly believe that it is a one in a lifetime opportunity."