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Florence
Nightingale
Foundation

Every year we hold our #FNFStudents Day, bringing together a select number of nursing and midwifery students for a day packed full of networking and learning. Find out more about the 2024 event from some of the participants, including our first ever student Co-Chairs.

Over 100 students spent the day networking with peers and quizzing established nursing and midwifery leaders. Attendees were mainly students from our Academy Member organisations but there were also a limited number of places available for non-members.

“As the staff host, it was my third year running Students Day, and I must say, it was the proudest I’ve been yet, the day was brimming with inspiration and learning”. Jess Sainsbury, Head of Nursing and Midwifery Engagement, FNF. 

Read more about the the day’s events  in Jess’ blog here. You can also hear from some of the participants below.

Student Day Co-Chairs

“Having been a member of the FNF supported student council, I was able to enjoy student’s day last year as a guest and spent the day engaging in workshops and watching the ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral. This year, I was thrilled to be able to give something back to an organisation that has given me so much, both in terms of helping to plan the event and then helping to facilitate the workshops and panels throughout the day. I took for granted last year what a challenge it is to ensure that the day runs smoothly and a big part of that is time management, so it was a very different experience being on stage and having to constantly clock watch!

Watching the commemoration ceremony for a second time as the event returned to its home at Westminster Abbey was a real highlight, and I was so proud to watch my peers from the University of Chichester represent student nurses on such an important day. I loved meeting students at different points in their journey, as well as reunite with some amazing familiar faces that I’ve been fortunate enough to cross paths with throughout my FNF experience. It reminded me how far I’ve come with my leadership skills, and I put my RADA training to good use once again! It was a privilege to share a space with so many accomplished nurses and hear their words of encouragement as I embark on the next stage of my career; I hope to do them proud as an NQN. As I finish up my final placement, I’m excited for everything this next chapter will bring and I only hope my time with FNF will continue so that I can draw on the experience of those who have supported and inspired me over the last three years. I’d love to carry on the legacy they’ve created in any way I can and make sure student nurses are advocated for and represented at every turn – just like I’ve been. FNF has taught me so much that has nothing to do with nursing and everything to do with myself as a person and what I want for my life and my career. I’m so proud to be an FNF student and am already excited to contribute to future events in an early careers capacity!”

Natasha Evans, nursing student at The University of Winchester 

Woman smiling

“When I learned about the FNF Students Day co-chair position, I didn’t hesitate to apply, recognising that FNF aligns with my values regarding the importance of strong leadership in nursing and midwifery to improve health, clinical outcomes, and patient experience. It was an honour and a privilege to be associated with such an amazing charity that supports nurses and midwives in their efforts to enhance care and save lives.

My journey as a student nurse has not been without its challenges, but I have enjoyed every experience, and being a part of the FNF Student Day was a major highlight. Although I felt some nerves, the welcoming and supportive atmosphere quickly put me at ease. It was inspiring to be among seasoned nurses and those just starting their careers, engaging in meaningful conversations with student nurses from various universities and different stages of their nursing journeys.

I have learned a great deal, and this experience has deepened my commitment to supporting student nurses as I transition into my role as a newly qualified nurse. I enjoyed the interactive activities, such as playing with LEGO, which sparked insightful discussions and broadened my understanding of the many opportunities within nursing. Conversations with experienced nurses were particularly encouraging and provided me with valuable guidance for my upcoming transition.

I made numerous connections at the event, and I’m excited to continue collaborating with these individuals to positively impact the nursing field. The event reinforced the importance of supporting and amplifying the voices of students and aspiring nurses, and I was able to inspire my fellow student nurses. I look forward to ongoing involvement with FNF and to returning next year as a newly qualified nurse, ready to contribute even more.”

Aghogho Wanogho, nursing student at Kings College London University

Student Leadership

I currently work for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.  When I had the opportunity to apply for the FNF Students Day I took it! To apply for this, we had to write a short reason to as why we should be chosen to attend the day. I shared a picture of me as a child dressed up as a nurse something I loved doing. 

Professor Greta Westwood gave us a welcoming speech about her life and what led her to the path of nursing and how her career began and evolved. She showed all of us nurses an apron that had been handmade by her mother. This truly was a lovely moment in the room, think all students were touched by this. Followed this we were introduced to FNF team along with student Co-Hosts Aghogho and Natasha both of who were very inspiring. We had great fun with the interactive workshops, this gave me time to reflect on my own journey including how far I had come.

Chichester University Sussex Hospitals were sponsors for the day, which meant later all students from Chichester would be part of the Commemoration service at Westminster Abbey. The feeling of the first moment when stepping into the abbey was extraordinary, made me feel patriotic, proud to be there on behalf of the NHS meeting so many different people from different walks of life. To walk in a procession along with other nurses and other professionals was a ‘truly hairs stand on end experience.’ ” Read more in Sarah’s blog here.

Sarah Seal, apprentice nurse associate, University of Chichester

Student Day Sponsors

The 2024 FNF Students Day was sponsored by Chichester University and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.

“The University of Chichester prides itself on our communities and historical connections with our professional past, this was a fantastic opportunity to honour this and enabled our students to be part of the wider Nursing history in such a momentous occasion. We believe our students demonstrated the ethos of the Future Nurse; we were all thrilled to be part of this occasion.” Dr Nita Muir, Head of School of Nursing and Allied Health, University of Chichester

“University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust were delighted to be supporting the FNF Students Day this year.  It was brilliantly curated by Jess and the co-chairs and an absolute joy to be a room full of passionate students and nurses networking, learning and celebrating our fantastic profession.” Tricia Rigby, Head of Clinical Education and Practice Development for Nursing and Midwifery, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust

Leadership Journeys

Another key feature of Students Day are the panel sessions. This year, we had two: an ‘expert’ panel and an ‘early career’ panel, where each member shared their unique and inspiring career and leadership journey. Thanks to all the panelists on the day.

Supporting Future Leaders

Please get in touch if you are interested in sponsoring our 2025 FNF Students Day.

To celebrate nurses and midwives in our anniversary year, we have launched a fundraising campaign to raise £90,000 to support 90 student nurses & midwives, 90 early career nurses & midwives and 90 ward leaders & social care nurses. Please make a donation so we can reach our target by the end of this year. Thank you.