International Nurses’ Day: Our global contribution

Categories: School of Health and Society

To celebrate International Nurses’ Day, the University is celebrating the contributions of our staff and students to the global nursing community. 

Dr Kirsty Marshall, Senior Lecturer and Directorate International Lead, said: “We have a long history of international placements and have embedded this within our Future Nurse Curriculum. For students this means that they can study or work abroad as part of their degree, and colleagues can gain invaluable experience in teaching abroad and act as a support for students through auditing placements and acting as practice assessor. 

“International placements offer students the opportunities to develop themselves as global citizens and improve their practice at home by learning and understanding how other health care systems operate. International placements have been on hold since the start of the pandemic but restarted in January 2022. Since the relaunch we have had over 50 students involved in placements in locations as diverse as Finland, the Netherlands, Uganda and Fiji. These placements can be a once in a lifetime experience or the start of a career as an international nurse. But they are always unique and special and enable students to grow and learn, becoming the best nurses they can possibly be.”

Outstanding students address nursing conference

Four inspirational final year students (Tara MacGreevy, Naomi Robinson, Deanna Sibbick and Ashleigh Naylor) recently presented at a Royal College of Nursing conference what it means to them to be a global citizens and student nurses. They described how being aware of the diverse global backgrounds and life experiences of patients enables them to provide patient centred care.

Collaboration with Saudi Arabia

Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Dr Natalie Yates-Bolton, collaborates with healthcare organisations in Saudi Arabia; this year Natalie is an invited speaker on International Nurses Day for Saudi PXC. The presentation ‘I see you, I hear you, I know you, I understand you’ explores the impact of nurses who connect with patients as they navigate life during and after cancer treatment.

Erasmus visit to Turku

In March 2022, Nursing Programme Lead Sarah Owens and a colleague visited our international partners in Turku, Finland. She shared her reflections on the visit.

“Turku is a beautiful place, and the University is exceptionally well equipped for students and staff. We have a strong relationship with the University and our nursing students have also visited the University and had placements in the hospitals. We were made to feel very welcome.

“My nursing area of speciality is palliative and end of life care and myself and my colleague had the opportunity whilst at the University to deliver a teaching session to a group of master’s students. Our international colleagues are very interested in this area of nursing and as a country they are making real change to the way that end-of-life care is delivered. It was enlightening to examine end of life care in Finland and the UK and hear their experience.

“We also met with colleagues in the University to discuss potential research opportunities we could undertake jointly, and we also got to see where the students are taught skills in a simulation suite. This gave us a flavour of what Salford students could experience whilst on an exchange.

“It was a busy time but very fruitful and I feel strengthened our bond and relationship with our colleagues at the Turku University. We are very privileged to be able to offer the international opportunity to our nursing students and as staff we too can also be part of that connection.

“I have always been proud of my profession and was also proud to fly the flag for Salford University 1.134 miles across the world.”

Erasmus visit to Helsinki

Rincy Sajith, Lecturer in Adult Nursing, tells us about the impact a recent exchange trip to Finland had on her.

“For some unknown reason I was fascinated by the name of this city as a young girl when growing up in the tropical paradise of India, Kerala. Little did I know then that I would go to Helsinki one day on an international exchange visit as a nursing teacher. It was a dream come true for me to touch my feet on Helsinki, as part of a staff exchange visit to attend the ‘Eye on TAMK 2022’ international conference at Tampere.

“The international collaboration agenda of the University of Salford attracted me on joining the university from clinical practice back in 2019 and I was excited to connect with the international team straightaway. 

“I volunteered to do teaching sessions for Thai nurses and Chinese nurses when they visited our university before the pandemic. I shared my journey of reflection and how it was influenced initially by the esoteric wisdom approaches of spirituality, India being a land of religion and mysticism and how it was fine-tuned with the cognitive/rational approach after my nursing studies and moving to a western society in UK. This was received so well by the students; I vividly remember one student expressing how touched she was after listening to me. I strongly believe in the power of such human interactions beyond language, race, or ethnicity in refining and defining us as professionals and persons. 

“Due to the pandemic these teaching opportunities sadly stopped and when I came to know about the ERASMUS staff exchange programme, I was quick to grab the opportunity to embrace and explore the endless scope of growth and collaboration being mobile internationally once again. 

“Being a global citizen, who trained in India and is now working as a nurse lecturer in the UK, I can relate my experiences to the scope of growth and diversification offered by these mutual exchange programmes. 

“Although it has been challenging initially to get used to the learning styles and approaches used in the UK, which are completely different to the learning style I was used to in India, it has broadened my perspectives on teaching and learning. 

“I felt this exchange programme was yet another opportunity that would help me better understand nursing education in different countries and learning the best practices will help me in improving my teaching role, thereby improving the student experience. I also believed that this will also help me in supporting the students on the exchange programme with Finland. 

“Together with my colleague Emma Kwegyir-Afful, the experience I had at Tampere was amazing, it refreshed my mind and spirit and was a great opportunity to meet people, listen to great talks, share my experience, enjoy nature and experience some adventures! The week was packed with lectures, seminars, workshops, teacher networking meetings, visits to virtual labs and clinical simulation suites and other social activities. We were able to meet the international team at Tampere to re-establish the connections and to negotiate future possibilities of student mobility, something that our students enjoy and benefit immensely.

“I decided to participate in this international exchange believing that it will bring different opportunities going into the future and it certainly did help me to meet people and establish connections. The experience is certainly going to help me personally and professionally. 

“Going through the application process and experiencing Finland will help me in my role supporting the incoming and outgoing students as part of the student exchange programme. The lectures, chats and discussions have broadened my knowledge and massively influenced my world view. 

“In my quest to find why Finnish people are the happiest people on the planet even when they are hit by heavy snow and the land is frost glazed instead of a bloom covered spring in April, I realise that resilience, determination, modesty and gratitude matters most and possibly is an indicator of happiness. My observation is reflected in their concept of ‘Sisu’ or the saying ‘Sisu gets you through granite’. ‘Sisu’ in Finnish means strength, perseverance in a task that for some may seem crazy to undertake, almost hopeless.”

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