RGU nursing student gains inspiration at Florence Nightingale event

A nursing student from Robert Gordon (RGU) has gained a unique experience by attending an event held in memory of the woman who founded modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

Sally-Anne McWilliam attended the Florence Nightingale Foundation 2015 Students' Day which took place at St Thomas Hospital in London on Wednesday, May 6.

Schools of Nursing and Midwifery from across the country nominate one student each year to attend in order to commemorate the life and work of the world famous nurse.

The event began with an interactive panel of healthcare professionals including; Professor Shona Brown and Geoffrey Walker OBE. Questions were considered and then opened to the students for reflection which included:

  • Whether enough consideration was given to mental health in adult environments
  • Whether students should have more involvement in research
  • Whether all universities and trusts should be standardised in regard to nursing skills

Reflecting on her experience, Sally-Anne said: “It was interesting to hear what the panel had to say, but also to see the differences between various universities and hospitals and their approach to nurse training.

“It was a positive and inspirational time and ended with the panel advising us to aim high and believe in ourselves.”

Students were given the opportunity to do a variety of activities in relation to the work of Florence Nightingale. They were able to take a tour of the Florence Nightingale Museum, view a screening of ‘Florence Nightingale: Her Life & Legacy’, and visit The Florence Nightingale Chapel.

Sally-Anne said: “During the day we had the opportunity to meet and talk with other students from all over the country. It was great to be in a relaxed, informal setting where we could learn about each other’s goals and ambitions, as well as influences in deciding to train as a nurse.”

Students were also able to attend the Golden Jubilee Commemoration Service at Westminster Abbey. The service included a procession of the lamp which is carried by a Florence Nightingale scholar, who then passes it to others to represent the passing on of knowledge.

Sally-Anne added: “It was lovely to see the various uniforms, both old and modern and the atmosphere in the Abbey was quite amazing. It was a fitting way to end a fantastic and very memorable day.”

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