From Bulawayo to Leicester, how continuous education informs professional practice

13 May 2022

Viv Zinyemba is Health Education England’s Regional Training Programme Lead (South East Faculty). He is an advanced clinical practitioner, working in geriatric medicine. He tweets Lead (South East Faculty). He is an advanced clinical practitioner, working in geriatric medicine. He tweets @MyNameVeeZee

My journey started in September 2000, on a lonely long-haul flight from the city of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe coming to England for an interview at De Montfort University Nursing School, in Leicester. The university facilities seemed world class. As I was shown around the campus, I remember walking into the ginormous lecture hall near the admin offices, seeing so many different people in their various roles yet all with one goal of delivering the next batch of nurses. It was at that moment that I felt I was part of a community, a community of educators in nursing, a community of student nurses keen to pass their summative assessments, a community of administrative staff ever so willing to smooth the rough edges of a student’s life. I felt a sense of belonging.

Twenty-two years later, my passion, drive, zeal, and curiosity keep shifting gears, pressing onto higher ground to improve and maintain quality, facilitate learning and education, influence workforce transformation and whilst trying to stay calm.

International Nurses Day gives me an opportunity to celebrate my profession, my story and my success. Ultimately, it’s a day when healthcare sectors collectively celebrate nurses’ contribution to society, while reflecting on the efforts and achievements of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing. The theme this year focuses on investing in nursing and influencing global health. It is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we deliver healthcare, communicate at multi-disciplinary level and nurse our patients. The new normal most people thought they would not be able adjust to, two years ago, has become the normal. The pandemic challenged professionals’ planned deliverables.

My passion for facilitating education and learning meant developing new ways of influencing change. Therefore, through collaborative working with the British Geriatrics Society, I have expanded my network. Recently, I joined the meeting of one of the BGS Nurses Allied Health Professionals (NAHP) Communities of Practice ( CoP). This was targeted at Advanced Clinical Practitioners and was held e at the BGS Spring Meeting, where I met some amazing professionals who are influencing change in their respective roles and places of work. Through the NAHP CoP I connected and networked with numerous healthcare professionals that I may not have had a chance to meet other than through the BGS.

Furthermore, my membership of the BGS gives me access to several resources that are relevant, for my clinical, leadership, research, and educational interests. Most importantly, access to the Age and Ageing journal is invaluable.

Therefore, as I reflect on that lonely long-haul flight, I realise that as nurses, we are part of a global network and not isolated. We are a family of professionals sharing similar goals but at different levels, a network of individuals seeking to improve global health. So, I walk the hospital corridors where I work with my head held high, proudly raising the flag for nurses as we break down barriers and reach new heights.

We are always keen to see our membership grow, and to encourage the active participation of nurses in the work of the BGS. On Thursday 12 May we have a 15 percent discount for new category C members (nurses and AHPs). Join the BGS here using the code IND2022. The offer runs until Sunday 15 May. If you have any questions, please contact BGS membership.

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