Nursing Times Careers Live - London June 2018

In honour of the hardworking contribution of nurses to the NHS, we brought our vintage themed NHS70 celebrations to Nursing Times Careers London on Saturday 30 June. Exhibitors, visitors and speakers all made extra effort to get into the vintage spirit, enjoying cakes, lindy hop and some amazing stories from inspirational speakers that highlight how meaningful a career in nursing can be.

Sue Covill from NHS Employers kicked off a busy day, preparing visitors for interviews and how best to present themselves to the employers in the exhibition with an interactive session and practice interviews among delegates.

Following this was a unique session from Tom and Nicola Ray, the real-life inspiration behind the film Starfish. This session explored Tom’s battle and recovery from sepsis, raising awareness of a rare but devastating condition, the third largest cause of death in the UK, killing more people than bowel, breast and prostate cancer combined.

In the UK:

  • 25,000 children are affected by sepsis each year
  • 1 in 4 sepsis survivors suffer permanent, life-changing after effects
  • 5 people are killed by sepsis every hour

Tom himself lost both arms, both legs and a major part of his face to the condition but went on to work through post-traumatic stress, rehabilitation and financial pressures with his young family and wife to become the inspirational speakers they are today. With his wife, Tom and Nicola represent two voices, with a shared message on how to cope with setbacks, change and adversity, a true definition of resilience to inspire our audience to manage the demands of nursing and thrive in the role.

Lunch saw visitors treated to a taster dance lesson in lindy hop, to get into the swing of our big vintage NHS7tea party with Swingland. Plus, free vintage style makeovers from Lipstick & Curls to complete the look and feel for the day.

After lunch, our student nurses benefited from the advice and guidance from two incredible student nurses at the start of their nursing careers. The incredibly brave Charlene Baillie, our 2018 Student Nursing Times Award winner for most inspirational student nurse, described the challenges she overcame to complete her studies while balancing the pressures of a young family and battling a rare bone tumour that she still receives ongoing treatment for. Alongside her, Gino D’Andrea is one of the Council of Deans of Health #150 nurse leaders, founder of the motivational website and one of the talented nurses we spotted at our Careers Live London event back in November 2017. Two very talented young nurses with bundles of great advice to cope the demands of a nursing career and transitioning into a newly qualified position.

“No pressure, no diamonds!”

Gino D’Andrea, founder, Keep Going Student Nurse

‘Looking for a rewarding nursing career?’ Taunton and Somerset NHS FT and Somerset Partnership NHS FT had visitors covered. They described the benefits of working for them with the insights and personal experience of the staff that work there.

Finally, Jackie Smith, outgoing chief executive of the NMC could no longer participate but we were fortunate to hear more about the incredible life and career of Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, a special guest speaker from last year and our 2017 Nursing Times, lifetime achievement award winner.

With standing space only, the content throughout the day proved invaluable to delegates and we rewarded those who stayed until the end with our final prize draw and closing drinks reception with the swing band Nouveau Lounge. The perfect send off for a rewarding day of job hunting, career development and celebration of 70 years of nursing within the NHS.

Nursing Times will be bringing the same fun, energy and excellent careers advice to our future events in Manchester on the 15 September, Birmingham on the 20 October and back in London on the 10 November. To make sure you don’t miss out, register your interest for a free ticket to attend