On Friday 31 March, 220 very special people gathered in London for the tenth annual meeting of Queen’s Nurses.
I was honoured to chair the meeting and privileged to welcome a fabulous range of speakers who shared national perspectives on a wide variety of issues relevant to community and primary care nursing. There is a summary of the day on the QNI website.
The questions for our guest speakers were intelligent, insightful and challenging – just what you would expect from Queen’s Nurses. They were also able to offer solutions – and many of the speakers networked with the nurses to explore ideas and perspectives further.
In the spirit of sharing good practice and innovation, 16 Queen’s Nurses had also submitted posters that were exhibited for delegates to view. The poster topics illustrated the wide variety of roles and specialisms in which the Queen’s Nurses work – and the impact they are having on their patients, families, carers and communities.
There is a common bond which brings the family of Queen’s Nurses together: a firm belief in excellence in practice, of learning, leadership and embracing innovation and new ways of working; throughout, with the person and the context of their care at the centre of everything the nurse does.
The challenging times we are working in can be wearing, but the day provided space and time to meet like-minded colleagues and to be inspired about our wonderful profession of nursing. People had plenty to say on Twitter after the event: ‘Left feeling inspired and re-energised’ (School Nurse), ‘Fantastic inspiring day’ (District Nurse); ‘Feeling inspired, re-enthused and ready to celebrate my super power’ (Nurse Practitioner).
Several Queen’s Nurses also contacted me saying that they had found the day uplifting at a time when they are experiencing the most challenging time that they can remember. They started the day feeling despondent about the future of nursing but left feeling a renewed energy and passion for the difference that their profession makes to the communities served.
My first and last slide of the day quoted comedian Amy Poehler, saying: ‘Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life.’
I think we all did just that last week.
Dr Crystal Oldman is chief executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute