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Career advice

Well-being support and advice: RCNi Nursing Careers and Jobs Fair

Nurses’ health and well-being will be top of the agenda at the careers fair, where you can attend CPD-accredited seminars, meet nurse experts and find your ideal job

PIcture: Barney Newman

Short staffing and unmanageable workloads are continuing to put nursing staff under immense pressure, with increasing reports of nurses feeling stressed, exhausted and burnt out.

Figures from NHS Digital published in June show that mental health issues are the biggest reason for nurses’ sickness absence, with stress-related sickness among nurses having increased by 20% since before the pandemic.

Why the RCNi Nursing Careers and Jobs Fair will focus on health and well-being at work

The figures are echoed by a report from Public Health Wales, published in July, which shows that 70% of the 2,800 nurses surveyed said their mental health and well-being had worsened during the pandemic.

The figures, described as a ‘wake-up call’ for the Welsh Government, revealed that almost 31% of respondents had mental well-being scores indicative of clinical depression.

With record numbers of nurses leaving the NMC register due to negative workplace cultures and nurses left feeling demoralised and exhausted, protecting the mental health of nursing staff has never been more important.

This is why health and well-being at work will be top of the agenda at the RCNi Nursing Careers and Jobs Fair in London next month – our two-day flagship event, which will be held on Thursday 8 September and Friday 9 September at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

Panel discussions with nurse leaders and experts

I will be hosting a lunchtime panel talk on both days, where I will be joined by leading nurses who are experts in their field.

On 9 September, the talk will focus on health and well-being at work – what you can expect from your employer and what they should be doing to support you, such as ensuring you are able to take your breaks and have access to a proper staff room or rest area, and that flexible working requests are met.

I will be joined by Nicki Credland, chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses and lecturer in critical care and advanced practice at the University of Hull, and lead nurse and manager for workforce utilisation and safe staffing at London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Pippa Clark.

Ms Clark led on the implementation of a compassionate rostering system at the trust to ensure all staff are treated fairly and with kindness.

Maintaining the health and well-being of nursing staff requires a positive workplace culture, which cannot be achieved without good leadership. On 8 September, I will be joined by leadership experts Nichole McIntosh, Health Education England regional head of nursing and midwifery for London, and chief executive and lead nurse at the Foundation of Nursing Studies Joanne Bosanquet, who will discuss the importance of good leadership in nursing and what it takes to be a good leader, with advice on how to develop your leadership skills.

Why attend an RCNi Nursing Careers and Jobs Fair?

RCNi Nursing Careers and Jobs Fairs offer opportunities to speak to potential employers Picture: Barney Newman
  • CPD-accredited seminars Attend our CPD-accredited seminars and get expert advice on issues such as revamping your CV, perfecting your next job application and how to improve your interview skills
  • Your questions answered Join our panel discussions to learn from senior nurse leaders how to get the most out of your nursing career and maintain your health and well-being. This is an interactive event with audience participation, so do come with your questions ready
  • You could leave the fair with a new job Employers will be conducting interviews at the event, so don’t forget to bring copies of your CV and dress for an interview
  • Revalidation support All our seminars are CPD-accredited and count towards your revalidation requirements
  • Networking opportunities Whether you know what direction you want your career to take or you’re not quite sure, nursing staff from many organisations will be on hand to talk you through your options
RCNi Nursing Careers and Jobs Fair

Events that count towards your CPD

The panel talks form part of a packed, CPD-accredited seminar programme. This includes expert advice from RCN careers coaches on how to make your CV and supporting statement work for you when applying for jobs and how to succeed at interview.

You will also learn how to use your transferable skills to support your next career move and how coaching can help take your career to the next level.

If you are interested in working in the private sector, HCA Healthcare UK chief nursing officer Heidi Tolchard will be presenting a seminar on the opportunities available in this setting, and you will also hear from senior paediatric emergency nurse and co-founder of YourStance Helen Ormrod, who will talk about her voluntary work teaching basic life support and haemorrhage control skills to young people at risk of serious youth violence.

If a career in justice and forensic nursing appeals to you, primary care clinical lead at New Hall Prison and Young Offender Institution Emma Firth will be on hand to talk you through the complexities of prison nursing, and what a day in her role involves.

RCN Nurse of the Year 2021 Nicola Bailey – who faced fierce opposition when setting up an early medical abortion and sexual health service in Belfast when abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland – will also be joining us to talk about the importance of courage in nursing.

New opportunities at home and overseas

More than 75 healthcare employers will be waiting to meet you, keen to recruit nursing staff. Among them will be London trusts including King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Or if you are looking for opportunities further afield, staff from organisations including Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the Committee for Health and Social Care Guernsey, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Monash Health, Australia will be on hand to talk you through their job opportunities.

Representatives from the Army and the Metropolitan Police will return to the London event, and we will also be joined by staff from Dementia UK and Saint Francis Hospice, which provides palliative and end of life care.

The past few years have been extremely tough for nurses, prompting many to seek new opportunities. Whether you are looking for a new career pathway, some expert advice on how to get the most out of your current role, or you want to learn more about how to achieve a better work-life balance, RCNi Nursing Careers and Jobs Fairs are here to help.

Almost 2,000 people have already registered for the London event. Book your free place now so you can join us.


Clare Lomas is RCNi Career Development Editor


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