A virtual meeting place for new student nurses @nursingSUni #nsuni

Last week we set up a Facebook group for new students starting on nursing programmes at Salford University in March 15.

We hoped it would be a place where incoming students could go to ‘meet’ each other and maybe ask questions to ease some of the anxiety associated with starting a nursing programme. Included in the group are some current student nurses and lecturers all willing to help and advise where needed. Its going well so far, since setting up the group 10 days ago, we have 85 members all chatting about which field of practice they are joining, where they are travelling from and various other subjects.

What is really good about this, is that our current students are best placed to answer most of the queries and so we must extend our thanks to the student nurses who have volunteered their time and experience to help others:

Gemma @GemSmith89

Emma @EmmaConnollyStN

KellyAnn @Kel1406

Penny @PennyFawthrop

Lucy @LugardCYP 

We’ve only advertised the group on twitter and our pre-existing field of practice Facebook pages but we will be introducing all new students to the professional use of social media during freshers week, so we look forward to meeting new members 🙂

So if you’re about to join us this month on a pre-registration nursing programme, request to join the group and join the conversation 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/groups/356618734540202/

Follow us on Twitter @nursingSUni and search for the hashtag #nsuni

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 20.08.30

Thinking about Personal Development Planning? chatting Mon 16th Feb 1.30 #nsuni

Last week, a few students were chatting on twitter about organising personal development records and portfolios. We thought it might be helpful to to have a twitter chat so please join us at 1.30pm Monday 16th Feb using #nsuni

Here at Salford, all student nurses are required to maintain a personal development record and each semester, students are required to formulate three short term goals. We’ll be discussing how to manage your PDP and make it work for you.

Student CYP nurse Lucy is curating @nursingSUni this week, so Lucy will be hosting the chat with lecturer support. We hope you will join us to discuss the following:

a) How to identify areas for development

b) SMART goals

c) What counts as Level 4,5,6 evidence?

d) How to organise your PDP

e) How to make it work for you

Hope you will join us 🙂

By salforduniversitynursing Posted in Blog

The start of my journey #hellomynameisamiee by @amieemhxx

The start of my journey #hellomynameisamiee

I am at the very start of my Salford nursing journey and I am excited to start the next chapter of my life. I am making a massive career change which is both terrifying and hugely exciting. I am leaving a secure, stable job where I have some lovely colleagues to venture into the unknown………..and I can’t wait. Becoming a nurse was always in my life plan. It’s just taken me a little longer than most to get to this point. I don’t regret the career choices I have made as they have helped me to grow as a person and of course I have gained life experience. I have developed life skills which I believe will help me to become a good nurse. I am thankful that I am being given a second chance to pursue my ambition.

I want to care for people and help make people feel better. Nursing is where I belong and I finally feel content. I know that this is not going to be an easy process. I am going to have to study hard and work hard, but that doesn’t bother me. It feels a little bit frightening but I prepared to make sacrifices to be the best nurse that I can be. I am not just making this life change for myself, I am also doing it for my children. I want them to have a good work ethic. They will learn this from me and my partner and the only way we can set a good example is to be enjoy what we do and be passionate about it.

I feel like I already know where my interests lie as a nurse. I am extremely passionate about oncology and the majority of my voluntary work has been based in a hospice. I can’t explain why I feel drawn to this area. Perhaps it’s because I have seen first-hand what cancer can do to a person. But all I know is I want to use my own experiences to help care for others and I want to ensure that patients have a positive experience whilst in my care. Although I feel that this is where I belong now, I am completely open minded and I am fully aware that my interests may change as I progress through the programme.

I was always going to study at Salford. Purely because I know qualified nurses who have studied here and all of them only have good things to say about their experiences. I also know of other mums who have studied and qualified through Salford and all of them have had positive experiences. I have needed this reassurance. I am hugely determined but the reassurance I have gained from seeing other mums study and qualify has been immense.

I am literally counting down the days until my Salford journey starts. I am counting down to induction week. I am following some of the current Salford student nurses on Twitter and their focus and drive to succeed is amazing.

I have my stationary ready for the lectures and seminars and I have stocked up on coffee ready for the night shifts. I plan on embracing every new experience and very new opportunity which is given to me. I cannot wait and I am ready to jump on this roller coaster for the next three years.

I am ready to be the best nurse that I can be and I want to save the world and everyone in it.

By salforduniversitynursing Posted in Blog

Curating @nursingSUni provided a vital link to university for @soontobenurses

Another week of curating the school account, and as per previous experiences I learnt a lot as well as talked a lot. For me curating the account provided a vital link to university whilst I am on an interrupt. There are however lots of great reasons to take a turn, be it a week or a day. If you do a week and have prior commitments during that week, someone will always take over the reins for that period.

Curating the student account is a fantastic way of communicating with peers to get and give support. Curating the account also offers a floor for healthy debate about topics important to students, this week we looked at the lack of nurses and the reasons behind that, the way in which students interact and how initiatives can be positive or negative. Thank you to @createyourself9 for sparking some particularly interesting ones.

Alongside the followers that you may already have on your personal account you begin to engage with other tweeters that you may not normally, or do not know are out there. A result of this was an invite to spend the day with the lovely @juneinhe.

On the Wednesday I tweeted from the @MHtodaymag conference and as a result was approached to complete a guest blog for the publication.

As well as support from peers there is also invaluable support from lecturers and professionals from the world of twitter. If you are looking to extend your social reach and develop network connections then curating the twitter account is an invaluable tool in doing so. Curating the twitter account is much advised and having students from across branches, as well as academic staff really broadens the horizons of students that follow, as well as staff!

#SoMe is becoming more readily recognised as a CPD tool and also a way to learn about events that are upcoming that may be of use to yourself or that will be of use to others that you can share. Curating the twitter account can also be used to meet a PDP goal for instance if you wish to develop your communication skills.
I would invite all students to have a go and those who are worried should know there will always be someone on hand to offer support, students and staff alike.

As well as students there is definitely something to be said for the contribution of academics to the curation and would be a fabulous experience for them and resource for students across the twitterverse.
I shall of course be back

Inaugural meeting of the Social Media Special Interest Group – a move in the right direction #SUSoMe

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 12.15.19

Monday 12th January 2015, a date to remember… the day we held our Inaugural meeting of the Social Media Special Interest Group for staff in the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences at The University of Salford.

My name is Wendy Sinclair (@wlasinclair on Twitter), I’m a registered Children’s Nurse working as a Lecturer in Nursing at The University of Salford and I’m currently working on my PhD, exploring nurses’ online professional conduct. I’ve been interested in using social media in nurse education for over two years and in recent months I’ve definitely noticed a rapid increase of social media use within the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Science here at the University of Salford and beyond. Having experienced the benefits of social media in nurse education I wondered how we could use social media to its full potential. Amongst other things, I considered a multidisciplinary team approach to be the way forward. An invitation was sent to all school staff members and approximately 30 members of staff from across disciplines expressed an interest in joining the group and 11 people were able to attend the face-to-face meeting yesterday. The purpose of the meeting was to explore whether a special interest group had potential and I wanted to know if the group could have meaning and purpose and so we explored the different roles that group could take on which led to discussions around how the group may move forward.

I plan to use this blog to share our success (thinking positively!!) and so here are the key points from the first meeting:

Training and support

It was pleasing to find that although not all staff are currently using social media, there are certainly a significant number interested in finding out more about how it could be used effectively. It was therefore identified that staff need support with using social media and unlocking potential, indeed there is often an inaccurate assumption that ‘everyone’s on Facebook’, ‘everyone’s on Twitter’ etc. and so lots of discussion was around training needs. The group could explore how we manage training and support.


Issues of managing professional conduct and maintaining boundaries were discussed and findings from recent projects were discussed. Our students are expected to work within professional body and university social media guidance and so there were  issues raised around managing conduct and this led to a discussion around changing culture to a more equal partnership between staff and students, shared learning and more co-creation. The group could explore ways of moving this forward.

Sharing Opportunities and Links

It was identified that Social Media provides our staff and students with a multitude of opportunities but we need to be sharing these opportunities beyond social media. It was recognised that social media management can be time consuming and that people use a variety of social media platforms. The group could explore ways of managing this.

Sharing good practice

It is clear that there are so many areas of good practice using social media within the school, that we don’t really know what each other is doing. While we don’t know exactly who is doing what, I do know that there are people at Salford making use of Social Media in fabulous ways. It was also identified that we all have links and networks that we could make better use of and feed back and forward to wider groups. There was an agreement that the group could be a place to share good practice in social media use.

Measure Impact

It was identified that with so many people using social media, it would be good to find out what works well and what doesn’t work well. The group may be able to provide opportunities for collaboration on projects to measure the impact of what we are doing. It was also highlighted that perhaps the group could be a place to tryout new things with an understanding that some things work and some things don’t.


It was decided that a showcase of research, projects and social media activity would be useful for all staff to get a feel for how they could utilise social media in their work. It was decided that a conference would be arranged for early Summer 2015 and as part of this day we plan to hold a workshop that will provide us with the basis of a more structured approach to the group development. This is something I’m really excited about!

Social Media communication/resource

As the group is all about social media, it was discussed whether we should avoid email and use social media to communicate (a brave step forward maybe??). I have decided to cover all bases for now and use this blog site, a new Facebook page (coming soon) and a twitter hashtag #SUSoMe (Salford University Social Media)! These platforms will also be utilised as a repository for social media resources and examples of good practice.

By setting up this special interest group, I hope to pool skills, knowledge, expertise and ideas and make much wider strides in the right direction. I’ll keep you updated as the group develops and in the meantime I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions 🙂

Curating the @nursingSUni account is such a brilliant and invaluable experience says @EmmaConnollyStN

Hello everybody, Emma here again for my second blog about curating the @nursingSUni account for the second time! You may remember my last blog where I discussed the impact that the BBC Panorama ‘Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed’ had on the twitter community, which was back in April / May time. Your probably wondering why I’m back but it’s solely because curating the @nursingSUni account is such a brilliant and invaluable experience and I just couldn’t let it slip through my fingers.

Since May I have built up further twitter confidence so I didn’t feel too nervous about signing in on Monday morning, although you do feel anxious about grammar and the regularity of tweets posted. As a new intake of nursing students are just beginning their course (September 14) I thought I would take this opportunity to offer some handy tips using the #salfordwelcome hashtag. I posted tips on a daily basis such as checking emails and blackboard on a daily basis as well as storing documents in several places. I noticed that these tips were being ‘retweeted’ and ‘liked’ which is brilliant to know that student nurses across the university were reaching out to the twitter community. Feelings from my first day started to overwhelm me as I remembered how nervous and anxious I was, so I hoped that I made some of the September 14 intake feel more at ease.

As the week progressed I noticed that the account started to gain lots of new followers, however a special thanks goes to #PUNC14. #PUNC14 has stemmed from the September 14 intake of student nurses from Plymouth University, driving a brilliant initiative for student nurses to tweet professionally. This created a tremendous buzz on twitter and tweets were non-stop which was brilliant. Tweeting to such a wide audience across the country may sound a little daunting but if you keep focused and up to date it’s really quite satisfying.

Overall, curating the account for the second time round was just as good (if not better) than the first time round. I understood the logistics of the account and felt a little more comfortable when tweeting to a wide audience. The support from our lecturers was also brilliant, you definitely don’t feel isolated which is why you should give it a go! I would definitely like to come back again in my third year, thank you all for a brilliant week.

By salforduniversitynursing Posted in Blog

“My First Blog”, by Emanuella Acquaviva, 3rd year Mental Health student nurse

Emanuella  Acquaviva, reflects on her week curating the @nursingSUni account


“…I had contemplated doing it for few weeks, but now I am glad that I finally did it!!” My week curating the undergraduate nursing twitter account @nursingSUni (14th July-21st July).


On the first day, as soon as I logged into the account I felt overwhelmed by the amount of messages appearing on the screen, but seeing encouragements coming through the notification icon from nursing lecturers made me feel more at ease and knowing that I was fully supported.

The week began with the aim to encourage more students to use the university twitter account as a way to communicate with others (professionals and fellow students) who shared the same passion for nursing and had a common goal, which is to make a difference in people lives. My other goal was to raise the account profile and at this point my ambition didn’t stop: I wanted to increase the number of followers aiming to reach 1,700 followers from the 1,639 followers, and I felt proud that this was achieved.


In a world where the nursing landscape is changing, I believe that it is fundamental to be fully informed of what is happing around us, and the use of social media is definitely the way forward. However, I do understand that the digital world is not for everybody, and initially I too was very sceptical about being part of it. The use of social media is a controversial issue and there is an ongoing debate as to whether its use is beneficial to its users. I only started using twitter a few months ago after a friend of mine suggested that this would be useful for me being a student, and keep me informed about current affairs, and so I did. At first I felt a bit lost but soon became familiar with it and started enjoying taking part in chats that discussed nursing, health and social care issues.


On Monday 14/07/14 PhD Cristina Vasilica @cristinavas discussed the importance of engagement with social media #someuse and talked about @GMKInet which is a Kidney Information Network developed by kidney patients for kidney patients to provide each other with support and advice. And this is just one of the many good examples of the benefit of engaging with social media.  A great advocate of the use of the social media within the nursing community is Teresa Chinn @AgencyNurse, a registered nurse who strongly believes that “social media has a role to play in getting key conversations going”. The most exciting part of the week was Thursday Night (17/07/14) where I took part in the @wenurses conversation, which was all about patients’ feedback. I felt very strong about this topic. For those who don’t know me, I have been working with later life services over the past ten years and caring for patients with physical, mental and social care needs. So, I was switching from my personal twitter account to the university account, as I wanted my voice to be heard and express my thoughts. The discussion made me aware and gave me insight into how the #wenurses community is extremely passionate and committed to ensure we get it right.


Curating the university twitter account has been a great experience, and I feel that tweeting has boosted my confidence. For me it’s all about learning and sharing information, expanding knowledge, and experience in order to understand and promote best practice. Furthermore, I feel that it is important to acknowledge and thank the nursing lecturers who have introduced and created the university twitter account @wlainclair @levylass @neilwithnell who strongly believe in the value of social media in nurse education.

In conclusion, I would recommend curating the account to all student nurses and encourage them to engage with the twitter community to interact and take part in discussion that matters to patients and promote best practice.

Showing Respect is not Hard – by Student Nurse Kim Bennett

Showing Respect is not Hard

From my first day in University, lecture etiquette has been detailed as one of the most important aspects of learning during the 3 years spent training as a nurse. This allows us to listen and absorb what is being taught to us and show respect for the person delivering the lecture and sharing their knowledge and experience to help student nurses on the journey to gaining the knowledge and experience they need to succeed as a qualified nurse.

As I now approach my 3rd year in my training, lecture etiquette seems to be the main area disrespected by many students not only within my cohort, but in many of the other cohorts within my university. I regularly speak to other students whom experience the same disruption in lectures, yet this remains a problematic area.

Having experienced the delivery of a short lecture in front of a full intake of students (approximately 200) I have first-hand experience of the preparation and time taken from gathering the content of the presentation, to delivering the presentation, the pressure of ensuring your content is interesting enough to maintain the interest of all your students and the nerves involved in standing in front of all those expectant faces, delivering a presentation with the confidence that you are an expert in your field and having the ability to answer any questions that arise. Imagine this process, and then imagine how it must feel to have someone disrupt your efforts by talking or texting during your lecture and then experiencing the same on a larger scale after you have asked your students to settle. It is very disheartening.

The purpose of the lectures we receive as student nurses are not only to prepare us with knowledge to build on to become successful nurses, but also to prepare us as professionals, we wouldn’t start discussing our weekend whilst in the middle of a ward round or in handover, so why do this in the middle of a lecture? It is also very distracting for colleagues within the lecture, who are interested in the content of the lecture and trying to listen, to have someone sat behind them having a different conversation.

Lecture etiquette is a way of showing we care about the profession we are entering into by having the courtesy to follow a set of rules put in place to allow us to gain the most from our learning experience. It is our way of showing how passionate we are about the career path we have chosen by wanting to learn everything we can to become good nurses, who have the knowledge and skills to treat our patients. Remember why you wanted to become a nurse in the first place and how hard you worked to get where you are today.

Lecture etiquette is simple;

Arrive on time for the session.

Turn off mobile phones, or if you have a family issue which may need addressing, ask the lecturer if you can keep your phone on silent. Most people will accommodate this.


Do not talk while the lecturer is talking

If you have a question, raise your hand or wait until the designated time for asking questions (usually at the end of the lecture).

If we think about our 6C’s of nursing, Care, Compassion, Courage, Commitment, Communication, Competence. These also apply to how we conduct ourselves away from placement and this includes how we present ourselves in university, we should ask ourselves, do we care enough to respect our colleagues and their learning experience? Do we care that the person delivering the lecture has spent hours preparing and is most likely as nervous as we are when taking an exam? Are we compassionate in our behaviour towards others? Are we committed enough to our future career to listen to what we are being taught and show we can be professional? Do we have the excellent communication skills required to be a nurse? Do we know this includes listening too? Do we have the courage to confront our colleagues who are disruptive and ask them to show some respect? We should be practicing our 6C’s all the time not just on placement and what better way to get some practice than with each other?

We should treat our lectures how we treat our practice, in a professional manner, respect our colleagues and adhere to our NMC code of practice and remember, lectures are there for our benefit, we cannot pass our course without the information given in them.



By salforduniversitynursing Posted in Blog

“Curating the university Twitter account therefore, was definitely not for me, or so I thought!…” blogs @Amanda_StN

My experience of curating the Salford University Twitter account (30th June – 6th July 2014)
By Amanda Butler, Second Year Student Mental Health Nurse

I first heard about the student role of curating the university Twitter account during a session entitled Improving your CV at the start of my 2nd year. As the session title suggests, the lesson was designed to provide ideas about ways to improve our CVs, to make them stand out positively, and to ultimately help us to secure our first nursing post. When hearing the word ‘twitter’ at the time, I immediately discounted the curating opportunity, as I did not possess a Twitter account, and moreover felt that Twitter was not for me. Social media, such as Facebook, had never attracted me, as I have always preferred to devote any spare time to book reading. Curating the university Twitter account therefore, was definitely not for me, or so I thought!

Writing a nursing blog however, did excite me, as I simply love writing. I managed to publish a blog using the wordpress.com site, and with the kind help of a fellow student nurse friend, I set up a Twitter account, initially, to promote my blog. This was 4 months ago now, and I have since been writing my mental health blog on a weekly basis; but I have also been using Twitter to discuss and learn about nursing issues, with many interesting nurse-related followers.

When it was first suggested that I might, after all, curate the nursing Twitter account, as a new user of Twitter, I was a little apprehensive. I thought about it overnight, and spoke to my same student nurse friend, and with a little reassurance and some renewed confidence, I therefore agreed.

I began my week as curator last Monday, 30th June. Although a little nervous when I first logged on, I checked through the notifications and started to engage with followers. I discovered that I actually enjoyed it, and was naturally drawn to topics that personally interest me, such as the elderly, dementia and mental health in general. Indeed, I have found some excellent new contacts from these areas, which I will now follow from my personal Twitter account. Moreover, I have learnt new things from them, and I am sure will continue to do so.

The main challenge of the week was on the Thursday evening #WeNurses session. The topic of End of Life Care was perfect for my interests, but I was slightly alarmed by the speed in which questions and answers were formulated. I was alternating between notifications and #WeNurses, trying hard to keep informed, but thoroughly enjoying contributing to the discussion. The former is a skill which I will need to practise further, but I did enjoy the hour enormously and the time went so quick!

The only negative to curating the account was my personal concern about not logging on enough! Attending to my home life and study often took more time than planned, and so I would sometimes go on to the Twitter account worrying about my neglect of it!
To any nursing students who are reading this, I would say get involved and give curating the account a go. There is a very supportive team of lecturers to help you, as little or as much as you need. The experience is a valuable one, and moreover, you will enjoy it.

By salforduniversitynursing Posted in Blog