I’m not sure I want to be a nurse anymore. I am not certain that I want to continue to give the NMC over £100 every year for the privilege of being a Registered Nurse. I have toyed with leaving nursing twice before, the first time I was thwarted (I was offered a place to read Physics at University but was not “allowed” to pursue my application) and the second time I chickened out – I thought that going to be a maths teacher was frying pan to fire…20 years later I am exploring options.
I am definitely at a crossroads in my professional life and I am pretty uncertain what the next step should be. I am certainly not going backwards – no return to HE as a nurse educator and definitely no return to practice as a nurse at band 6 or 7. The last year has fundamentally changed my thinking and shifted my gaze from nursing to a broader one of professional practice. I am much more interested in exploring the commonalities across professions than differences. As this Government continues to squeeze the public sector and demand more measurement and accountability from over stretched professionals we need to explore how to unite in either resisting this twaddle or we need to find ways to give a voice to the ludicrous positions it puts people in.
Departments in universities begin to compete with each other rather than unite; we used to give students well rounded learning experiences with lectures from sociologists, social policy experts, psychologists etc. It has all been diluted as lectures are given and seminars lead by professional specific lecturers. Each profession defending their space and tribal approaches to professional education echo the silo thinking in practice.
How can we halt this tide of nonsense? I loved inter-professional learning and working – some of my best experiences were in the classroom with OT students or medical students or a mixture of 6 or 7 disciplines – seeking to explore personal and professional responses to person-centred care/services instead of professional specific tasks and role definitions.
We need to be so much more imaginative, creative and courageous in designing programmes of study for the future. Share knowledge and develop innovative programmes where a student might graduate as a MH Nurse and an OT – wow what a wonderful concept – they already exist as practitioners but are often constrained by their qualification.
We could develop CPD workshops that encourage openness and sharing – curious and safe spaces to explore joint knowledge creation.
Let’s embrace a new era of professional generosity and imaginative roles… we can but dream.