Yesterday was my daughter’s 15th birthday and I reflected on much and the changes in my life that have occurred due to the seismic shift that motherhood causes. The 12th May is also International Nurses day so there was a lot out there in social media about nursing etc. It made me sad and angry. We have not got anywhere near the solidarity and integrity of our medical colleagues. I see a lot of sentimentality and a lack of strong political leadership. I watched a video made by a friend and it made me cry. She is Professor of Nursing and is making a real difference to the conversations about nursing BUT I didn’t feel that was a universal experience and that is why I had to leave HIgher Education. I am hoping that my decision to leave a secure post was for a purpose and that my moral compass that was being so challenged can find a settled place soon. Maybe being a freelance facilitator and working from the outside in might be a place to start conversations, encourage questioning and have kindness and curiosity at the core of nurse education. I know I could write a fabulous programme with those values underpinning it and ensure that the students enjoyed their learning and left skilled, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the work they do. Instead we often have courses that burn our students out before they finish – exhausted by the emotional demands and frazzled by navigating complex and complicated relationships with staff, educators, patients and relatives. Brave and determined we need to be, not cowed by politics and competition. Speak up and collaborate with others ….
A shift is needed and I am standing on the sidelines seeing if anything can change to make it better. Research and nurse education need to be better allies and the “doing” of nursing underpinned by “thinking”. It’s been talked about for many years but it is frustrating to still see the divide.