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Conference organised by student nurses from Kingston University and St George's, University of London harnesses ideas to enhance future of profession

Posted Friday 22 January 2016

Conference organised by student nurses from Kingston University and St George's, University of London harnesses ideas to enhance future of profession

Student nurses have joined forces with staff from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education and NHS Trust partners to share their passion for the profession at a conference at St George's, University of London.

The Student Nurse Academic Partnership (SNAP) conference was designed to empower nursing students, encouraging them to become teachers for the day and develop into future healthcare leaders. The event was the first of its kind to be entirely organised and presented by the University's nursing students and was a collaboration between the School of Nursing, run jointly with St George's, University of London, and the Gibraltar Health Authority.

The stars of the conference were 16 nursing students who delivered presentations on theory and practice after working with academic staff to write abstracts, fine tune content and develop their public speaking skills. The results influenced and informed conference discussions around changing the shape of a new curriculum, being developed for September 2016.

Second year BSc(Hons) Mental Health Nursing student Aurelia Edmiston described the experience as empowering. "To be given a platform to express an issue I feel so passionate about, with such a wide variety of audience members, was incredible," she said. "It's so rare that students, faculty staff and alumni can come together in a forum to share ideas and experiences and yet it's so important for us - particularly in nursing - to continue that discourse."

Students at the SNAP conference

The event also featured presentations from Heads of Nursing at Kingston and St George's and the Gibraltar Health Authority that emphasised the importance of international partnerships. Attendees also heard from St George's NHS Trust's chief nurse and NHS England's chief nurse for London, who highlighted the value of strong links between universities and practice partners.

Associate professor of children's nursing Dr Jayne Price acted as a session chair during the event. "The sessions were extremely conducive to learning and embraced the ethos of knowledge development with and from each other in partnership. The questions and debates that arose from the presentations gave students and lecturers an extremely effective opportunity to openly express their views," she said. "The number of diverse topics covered was notable and enabled integrated learning across fields and patient groups."

Nursing students will now contribute their work to a journal dedicated to the conference, due to be published to coincide with International Nursing Day celebrations in May.

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