Jenita Loheswaran - Nursing Associate
  • In-person attendance: Sherwell Centre and Rolle Building, University of Plymouth

  • Online attendance

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Nursing Associates bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and registered nurses and are an integral part of the nursing family, supporting healthcare teams with their clinical and administrative duties. 
Once qualified, a Nursing Associate may work across a wide range of healthcare settings, including acute or community hospitals (across a range of clinical areas), community nursing teams and GP practices.
The University's FdSc Nursing Associate team is delighted to host this event to recognise and celebrate the vital roles that Nursing Associates play within our healthcare community. There will also be a prize for best poster – please see further information below.
Delegates are invited to attend from students, alumni and employers of Nursing Associates/Apprentices, among others. 
There is the option of attending the event at the University of Plymouth or online.
Register for in-person attendance at the University of Plymouth
Register for online attendance (08:45–12:30)
If you register online, you can watch and listen to the keynote speakers, 08:45–12:30, and join the chat function, though we will not be live streaming the workshops. A link to join the event online will be sent closer to the event.
In-person registration at the Sherwell Centre will be open from 08:15 for a 09:00 start. We aim to finish around 16:45.
This event is free to attend. For those attending in person, lunch and refreshments will be provided.
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Poster competition

There will be a poster competition during the conference which is open to Trainee Nursing Associates and Registered Nursing Associates. The winner will receive a £50 book voucher donated by Sage which can be used to purchase any book on the Sage website, and will be posted free of charge.
• How I have or plan to include creativity in my engagement with clients/patients and carers to support wellbeing and communication. 
• How I use creativity personally that supports my own wellbeing.
Tell us about what you do, history of the activity, its uses, associated science or theory linked? Any associated studies that demonstrate efficacy. Include how you think it helps and how others could learn from it.  
If you wish to produce your own poster (A0 portrait) to display at the conference venue or design an electronic poster to be hosted on the University of Plymouth website, please contact

Draft agenda | University of Plymouth

Keynotes – Sherwell Centre, University of Plymouth

08:15–08:45 | Arrival, registration and refreshments (Conference Committee Team)
08:45–09:00 | Welcome and housekeeping (Ian Sherriff BEM, Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia, Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth)
09:00–09:30 | Keynote speech: The Mitigation of Risk and Scope of Practice in Relation to Nursing Associates (Sam Donohue, Assistant Director, Nursing and Midwifery Council)
09:30–09:55 | Keynote speech: Nursing Associates within the Region (Dr Rachel Tims, Clinical Training and Education Senior Specialist – Nursing and Midwifery, NHS England South West)
09:55–10:15 | Keynote speech: The Road to Nursing Associate and Beyond (Paige Barsby, Nursing Associate Practice Educator, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust)
10:15–10:45 | Refreshments
10:45–11:00 | Keynote speech: The Role of the Nursing Association in the One NHS Team and the Benefits It's Bringing (Stuart Tuckwood, UNISON National Officer for Nursing)
11:00–11:30 | Keynote speech: Nursing Associates in Critical Care – Network Projects and Local Experiences (Ruari Cassidy, Lecturer in Clinical Intercalation, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Plymouth, and Elaine Morley, Network Critical Care Non-Medical Workforce Fellow) 
11:30–12:00 | Keynote speech: The Work of the Laura Hyde Foundation (Liam Barnes, Founder, Laura Hyde Foundation)
12:00–12:30 | Panel session and Q&A
12:30–13:15 | Lunch, Nursing Associate poster judging and stands

Breakout sessions – Rolle Building, University of Plymouth (not available online – in person only)

13:15, 14:15, 15:15 – workshop choices will be sent to you to pre-book closer to the conference
  • Breakout workshop session 1 | Poetry in Healthcare (Samantha Carr, Doctoral Teaching Assistant, PhD Creative Writing candidate, University of Plymouth)
  • Breakout workshop session 2 | From Scrubs to Screams: A Wild Ride on the Nursing Associate Roller Coaster! (Martyn Davey, Nursing Associate, General Practice, East Quay Medical Centre)
  • Breakout workshop session 3 | Coaching or Wellness Session (Sara Hawkins, Lecturer in Adult Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth)
  • Breakout workshop session 4 | Exploring poster presentations (venue: Sherwell Centre)
  • Breakout workshop session 5 | Guided tour of the University of Plymouth (University of Plymouth Student Ambassadors)
  • Breakout workshop session 6 | Title tbc (Amanda Holland, UK Educational and Field Technical Services Manager, Laerdal Medical)

Conference close – Sherwell Centre, University of Plymouth

16:15–16:45 | Conference close and evaluation, Nursing Associate Pledge for display

Speaker biographies

Ian Sherriff BEM, Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia, Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth

Ian Sherriff BEM is a member of the Prime Minister's Dementia Friendly Communities Challenge Group with his role on this group as Chair of the South and South West of England. He stepped down as a trustee after six years on the Alzheimer’s Society national board and is now a National Ambassador for the Society. He is a founder member of the Plymouth Dementia Alliance and Dementia Friendly Parishes around the Yealm. Ian is the Chair of the Prime Minister's Rural Dementia group also Chair of the Prime Minister's National Air Transport Hidden Disability group. 
Ian is the driving force behind the 14 successful Plymouth international dementia conferences. He is the Chair of the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance which won a national award of "Dementia Friendly City of the Year". Ian is currently working with researchers from China, Japan Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria on dementia projects. 
Ian launched the first dementia friendly community in Italy and was a keynote speaker at the Tokyo and Osaka dementia conferences. 
Ian is on the board of Blind Veterans UK and Bravo Victor /BRAVO VICTOR USA. He was a keynote speaker at the Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) conference in Krakow Poland dementia conference in 2024. Ian is an active member of the British Standards Organisation and International Standards Organization where he is part of a team writing the international standard for “Needihoods that Care” and the ISO standards for Dementia Inclusive Communities. He is leading the UK’s response to dementia in Ukraine supported by the WHO and the Ukrainian lead for dementia. 

Liam Barnes, Founder, Laura Hyde Foundation

Liam Barnes is the founder of the UK's leading mental health charity for our healthcare workers and wider emergency services. He set up the Laura Hyde Foundation in 2018 as a response to losing his cousin Laura to suicide.
The Laura Hyde Foundation is the UK’s ONLY charity dedicated to providing mental health support for our emergency services. Roles covered include nurses, doctors, GPs, paramedics, midwives, healthcare assistants, fire, police and care workers. Set up in 2018 following the suicide of Laura Hyde, the charity has grown to a truly national level charity with representation in over 98% of hospitals across the UK. We are trusted by our audience to deliver the right support when others may not. The Laura Hyde Foundation provide mental health training and counselling support for those that require it, offering over 20,000 hours of free to access, clinically supervised and independent support each and every month. They care for those who care about us.
Liam is extremely passionate about working with NHS management to deliver robust wellbeing support structures and would love to see how the Laura Hyde Foundation's significant independent and free resources can assist in this.

Paige Barsby, Nursing Associate Practice Educator, Musgrove Park Hospital, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Paige Barsby is a Registered Nursing Associate, working in the perioperative education team at Musgrove Park hospital in Taunton, Somerset as a practice education facilitator. Paige is proud to be a Nursing Associate and is actively working in her current role to promote the role, while supporting and empowering trainee nursing associates in practice. Paige also supports clinical areas in educating them on the role of registered nursing associates, working as part of the wider team to grow a nursing associate work force to bridge the gap in nursing.
Since embarking on her healthcare career pathway, Paige has been extremely passionate about the nursing associate role and where the role can lead. In 2022 Paige was previously on secondment with Health Education England expanding placements and the nursing associate role into social care. 
Paige continues to be an advocate for the profession and is keen to see the numbers of nursing associates grow within the organisation and nationally.

Samantha Carr, Doctoral Teaching Assistant, PhD Creative Writing candidate, University of Plymouth

Samantha qualified as an Adult Nurse, working in an Acute Coronary Care Unit which built on her previous experience as an ECG Technician. She then worked for 15 years within the medicolegal industry where she became the Nurse Manager for a sorting, collation and pagination company. During this time, she obtained an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Plymouth where she developed an interest in uniting her professional career and personal experience with chronic illness. 
She is currently a Doctoral Teaching Assistant at the University of Plymouth where her PhD Creative Writing project is a collection of autoethnographic poetry informed by these two topics. Her poetry has been published in Arc, Acumen, Room, Causley International and The Storms Journal and she recently came second in the inaugural Molecules Unlimited poetry competition.

Ruari Cassidy, Lecturer in Clinical Intercalation, School of Nursing and Midwifery (Faculty of Health), University of Plymouth

"After completion of my training at Argyll and Clyde School of Nursing and Midwifery I worked as a D grade in respiratory medicine and coronary care before moving to critical care.
I gained clinical experience in critical care and cardiothoracic critical care from D grade through to Charge Nurse across Dorset, Devon, Yorkshire and Manchester before holding posts as a practitioner within critical care outreach, practice education and as ICU Matron.
More recently I have brought this experience into an academic role as a Lecturer in Clinical Intercalation at the University of Plymouth.
My areas of interest are in urgent and critical care, high dependency care education for midwives as well as strategic and humanistic leadership. I have also had national working group input with ICU inclusion/exclusion criteria."

Martyn Davey, Nursing Associate, General Practice, East Quay Medical Centre

Martyn Davey is a Nursing Associate working in general practice in Somerset. Being part of the inaugural wave of Nursing Associates in 2017, Martyn has been actively advocating for this pivotal role in the NHS since its announcement. 
Martyn is passionate about spreading awareness and understanding of the Nursing Associate profession, hosting his own podcast called 'Just a Sharp Scratch.' On 'Just a Sharp Scratch,' he delves into the complexities of healthcare, sharing insights, stories and interviews with fellow professionals. Various topics relevant to nursing associates and the broader healthcare community are explored through engaging discussions. Martyn created a national Student Nursing Associate and Registered Nursing Associate Facebook page, providing a platform for collaboration, support, and resource sharing within the community. Join Martyn as we journey through the world of healthcare, literature and beyond. Let's connect and continue the conversation.
Outside of healthcare, Martyn is an avid fan of Harry Potter and Batman, immersing himself in the magical world of Hogwarts and the dark streets of Gotham. 

Sara Hawkins, Lecturer in Adult Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth

"I am Sara Hawkins, mum of three, retired Army Major, three decades of nursing in the operating theatres speciality. I draw upon my experiences as a leader and healthcare worker to lecture at the University of Plymouth on programmes from Nursing Associate to postgraduate level. I completed my MA in Education in 2021 with a focus on coaching and supporting development in others. 
My current roles include deputy programme lead Foundation Degree, Practice Development Lead for Somerset and Bath. 
I have a LinkedIn profile and website
My passions are coaching and helping support other people's development, outdoor activities and complementary medicine."

Elaine Morley, Network Critical Care Non-Medical Workforce Fellow

Elaine Morley is originally from Lancashire and trained within South Manchester qualifying in 1989. Elaine worked clinically around Manchester Acute Medicine, Intensive care and Education. Elaine relocated to Cornwall 1998 and gained a position in intensive care. Over the subsequent years she worked collaboratively with the University of Plymouth and had dual roles as a Lecturer Practitioner. 
From 2017, she was successful in gaining an Operational/Educational 80/20 split Band 7 on Critical care at RCHT. COVID happened and currently her role is an integrated approach to support training, skills and assessment. This is a dual contract with the Community Trust and the Acute Trust as Educational Lead for Critical care and Lead Clinical facilitator for complex skills in the community. This supports both trusts in Cornwall, and facilitates and supports clinical staff to manage the patients in their clinical setting.

Dr Rachel Tims, Clinical Training and Education Senior Specialist Regional Lead for Nursing Associates within the Workforce, Training and Education (WTE) Directorate of NHS England

"A Registered Nurse, with over 30 years of experience. Through the roles I have held within higher education, NHS Trusts and now NHS England, I have been able to contribute to and support meaningful and positive change with respect to practice and policy through teaching, research, supervision, coaching and leadership.  
I am a proud and passionate advocate of the learner’s voice and codesign. My research interests have focused on the staff and student experience of learning, teaching, with a special interest in the socialisation and transition of staff and students."

Stuart Tuckwood, UNISON National Officer for Nursing

Stuart Tuckwood is a registered Adult Nurse and the National Officer for Nursing at UNISON, the UK’s largest healthcare trade union.
Having worked overseas in Latin America and Myanmar, Stuart practised clinically in neurosurgery, major trauma and critical care outreach at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge before taking up his role at UNISON.
Stuart has a professional diploma in Tropical Nursing, as well as an MSc in Public Health from the University of London and has spent time as a Director at the Florence Nightingale Foundation. 
Campaigns and priorities that Stuart leads on for UNISON include safe staffing levels, ethical international recruitment and improving preceptorships for new registrants.
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