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FHSC student attends prestigious Chief Nursing Officer’s Conference as a CareMaker

Carl Beasley, a second year student on the BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing programme attended the prestigious Chief Nursing Officer's Conference in December 2012 as a Caremaker.
17 July 2013

The fifty Caremakers that supported the conference were both students and newly qualified nurses and midwives, and they had either volunteered or were selected for their services and to become ambassadors for the new vision of nursing. Carl has given us an account of his experiences of the conference and what this has meant to him and his career:

"I didn't know much about the conference until we arrived at the venue on the Monday evening for our induction. We were then told that the delegates in attendance at the conference were the most senior nurses in the NHS. I wasn't the only one who was taken aback but we were assured that there was no need to be afraid or in awe; these nurses had all started their careers in similar positions to ours and shared our motivations and passion.

"Over the next two days the conference venue was a vibrant place. I was a 'Meeter and Greeter' and spent the mornings at the front door, welcoming the delegates as they arrived and announcing the locations of the concierge and registration desks. During the afternoons I attended many of the events. All of the Caremakers were present to hear Jane Cummings, the Chief Nursing Officer for England, give her opening address in which she outlined the new vision for nursing and midwifery; "a Culture of Compassionate Care". The vision is built around the '6 Cs'; key concepts which underpin our roles as carers; Care,Commitment, Compassion, Courage, Competence and Communication.

I've enjoyed promoting the new vision and spreading the message of the 6Cs so far and am enthusiastic about my continuing role as a Caremaker.

"At the end of the first day the Caremakers were led onto the main stage of the conference and received an ovation from the delegates. We were recognised not just for our role in supporting the conference but as representatives of a passionate new generation of nurses. Our on-going role is to promote the 6Cs via social media and in our local communities. Due to the positive reaction that we have received, there will be many more exciting opportunities in 2013 for an extended network of Caremakers.

"My time at the conference has filled me with optimism for the future of nursing. Meeting and interacting with my peers from around the country has given me a much stronger sense of the wider nursing community. Meeting the Directors of Nursing, whom I expected to be cynical and aloof and detached from life on a ward, was inspiring. They were passionate and friendly and they became nurses for the same reasons that we did. Many of them still worked on the front line, often in a voluntary capacity."