Students Day Blog Series

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  • Students Day Blog Series: Abbi Bott’s Reflections

I was lucky enough to win a competition to attend the Florence Nightingale Foundation Students day which took place at Kings College in London. Within the itinerary for the day was also a trip to the Florence Nightingale museum and in the evening, the Florence Nightingale Commemoration service at Westminster Abbey.

The day was focused on leadership development of student nurses and how they can incorporate this into future careers, with the support of expert panellists throughout the day. To name a few: Jacky Vincent, Dr Emma Wadey, Lucy Brown, Professor Greta Westwood and Major Mike Collins. Each of whom shared their own nursing journey and what their current role involves. The common message they shared was that not one of them planned to be where they are now and many of who couldn’t believe they had their current role. I found it incredibly inspiring to realise the huge array of careers within the nursing profession and how many of these successful nurse leaders had started in similar positions to myself. We had a number of opportunities throughout the day to network with fellow student peers and the expert panellists, which made it a great way of obtaining support for future careers.

In the afternoon, we had a tour of the Florence Nightingale Museum which was so insightful into the various impacts Florence had on modern day nursing; some of which I hadn’t heard about until this day as I had only known of her for her work in the Crimean war. One thing that was interesting was seeing the actual lamp she carried which was not like the genie style lamp depicted over the years and was in fact, a traditional Crimean lamp that was old and worn.

In the evening, we attended the service at Westminster Abbey which was attended by a number of famous faces; including Princess Alexandra. The whole service was incredibly empowering and I found it a great time to reflect on why I decided to train to be a nurse. The service included the passing of a lantern which is used to represent the ‘transmission of knowledge from one nurse to another and highlight the diversity of care given by nurses for the benefit of humanity’. In addition to this, there was a new roll of honours ceremony that was a book listing the names of nurses and midwives who lost their lives during Covid-19 pandemic.

I felt incredibly honoured to have been chosen to attend this event and it has reminded me why I am proud to be a nurse, despite the endless challenges. I hope to attend future events like this and maybe one day, be more involved with the Florence Nightingale Foundation.