The call came that every commentator loves and fears – would I agree to be interviewed by Robert Elms on March 18, 2014, for his popular daily radio show Everything about London on BBC London? The programme would look at nursing, with up to half a million listeners, so of course I accepted. And it turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable. I managed to sidestep Robert’s obsessions with nurses’ uniforms and wild parties, telling him sternly that my wonderful nursing students at Kingston University were far too busy with their academic studies and practice learning experiences to even think about partying. I also said that degree-level nursing registration, now compulsory throughout the UK, is the right move – emphatically not producing nurses who are too posh to wash, but nurses who are intelligent and knowledgeable as well as kind and caring.
BBC London later asked me to join an invited audience to grill representatives of each major party before the 2015 UK General Election. My question was first up, and I challenged them on safe nursing staffing levels, but none of them made a very satisfactory response. I took two nursing students from Kingston, who loved their first taste of the media in the glamorous surroundings of Broadcasting House.
At Kingston last year I helped to organise a celebration of International Nurses Day - held on Flo Nightingale's birthday, May 12. Our show, called Nursing's Got Talent, drew a mix of students, staff and the public to the Rose Theatre for a lively showcase of acts, including my illustrated talk on Florence's Demons. We are holding another celebration in 2016 and I'm giving a keynote talk on the theme of resilience.
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