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Letter: Let’s support our students, not knock them down

Caroline Ridley urges mentors to be more encouraging

Caroline Ridley urges mentors to be more encouraging

In 1914 a cover for London Opinion magazine bore the message ‘Your Country Needs You’ in an attempt to inspire recruitment to the military.  

The message has resonance for nursing today where recruitment remains a priority.  We share character traits with the military too; tenacity, dependability, courage, integrity, professional presence and adaptability.  

Imagine answering the call full of enthusiasm and energy but then being asked, with cynicism, by a mentor and senior colleague: ‘What do you want to come into nursing for?

This happened to one first year student nurse I spoke to, leaving her feeling upset, confused and dismayed. ‘Why would she say that?’ the student reflected.

Yes, why would she say that? What purpose does that kind of question serve other than to knock the wind out of the student’s sails?

We need to encourage them so they build the resilience,  energy and enthusiasm that will help ensure nursing remains a profession that people value.

I appreciate nursing can be challenging but we need to nurture, not dismantle, our future workforce.


Caroline Ridley

Senior Lecturer

Manchester Metropolitan University


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