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Nursing Blog

Nursing Blog

Stories about Nursing at Edinburgh straight from our staff and students

A Sandpit at Kings College London by Jessica MacLaren

Professor Pam Smith

Professor Pam Smith

On one of the hottest days of the year (the auspiciously chosen Friday the 13th of June), Prof. Pam Smith, Dr Rosie Stenhouse and Dr Jessica MacLaren attended a meeting at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kings College London (home of the National Nursing Research Unit).  The meeting was between academics from Edinburgh, Kings and the University of Cardiff, and included Prof. Billie Hunter, Prof. Danny Kelly, and Dr Aled Jones from Cardiff, and Prof. Jill Maben, Dr Mary Adams and Dr Sophie Sarre from Kings.

The aim of the day was to bring together a group of researchers who have mutual interests, and the idea of the ‘sandpit’ was used to encourage us to work imaginatively, exchanging ideas in an open and playful manner.

The topics discussed included leadership, resilience, whistleblowing, workforce wellbeing and problematizing nursing (phew!).  We discussed responses to recent investigations such as the Francis Report, and how these influence the public perception of nursing.  We thought about how deviance from ethical standards comes to be normalised within health service cultures, and how structures can be created which promote the raising of concerns and identify issues which need action.

Taking a break at lunchtime we went over to the South Bank to visit a delightful roof garden, and saw a real sandpit on the banks of the Thames.

Refreshed we continued our day, talking about how researchers can approach these issues, what questions need to be asked, what methodologies we should be using and how we best access resources for these research themes.  The day concluded with a general consensus on two main areas to be investigated.

This was a very inspiring meeting, and it was particularly exciting to bring together researchers from three nations within the UK (Wales, Scotland and England), and from three Russell Group Universities.  For me as a novice researcher I felt very privileged to see some top nursing and midwifery academics in action, and enjoyed the exchange of ideas in such a welcoming and open atmosphere.


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