Name: Laura Hailes, RN
Organisation: Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust
Short description of your current job/role:
Staff Nurse within a busy, acute inpatient oncology ward and on rotation between the male oncology ward and the mixed, teenage and young adult ward. Chemo administrator, nurse in charge, associate mentor for nursing students.
Name of Award / scholarship: Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship
Why did you apply for the scholarship?
I saw a poster in the staff room which had the line “Are you aged between 21-30? Do you want to go to America for up to three months, investigate a work topic and get paid?” I thought to myself, “Yes. Yes I would!”
The Nottingham Roosevelt Traveling Scholarship is geared toward all young professionals within Nottinghamshire, U.K – not just healthcare professionals. It was first set up in the 1940s by the Mayor of Nottingham who wanted to thank President Franklin D. Roosevelt for his help with the war effort. The mayor wanted young Nottingham citizens to go to America, travel around, absorb the culture, create working relationships and strengthen UK-US ties. This great opportunity is still going today. We are allotted grant money to go whereever and do whatever we think will benefit our project. I applied because I wanted to see and do new things, both in my personal and professional life. I’d always wanted to travel, but didn’t want it to disrupt my career plans. This way I can do both!
Please briefly describe the project that formed the basis of your application
I wanted to choose a topic that would impact on the broadest selection of patients at my hospital. I first thought of focusing on nutrition, because nutrition is something that, nationally, has room for improvement and would also affect the majority of the patient population. When forming my plan, I spoke with the Practice Development Matron (PDM) for nutrition at NUH. I asked her what areas she felt needed more research. She said we already had a lot of good ideas to improve nutrition, but the issue was how to implement these improvements. Currently we have a “link nurse” system on each ward that has a representative who receives regular updates on new practices and initiatives to improve nutrition. The link nurse can then implement these changes in the most effective manner for their area. This system seemed to be failing due to a lack of structure, support, time, leadership skills and bedside nurse empowerment. It struck me that it wasn’t an individual topic we needed to investigate, but the nursing management structure. I had heard of shared governance and felt that if we had this in place, our bedside staff would have more of a voice within the organization, which in turn could lead to improvements within every part of the patient journey.
Please describe what you are doing as your scholarship project:
I am traveling around the US for 3 months, investigating shared governance. I want to see different structures of shared governance, how to set this up and most importantly, how to sustain this model of management.
Stay tuned for more from Laura as she travels throughout the US, studying shared governance.
Course to further your understanding of shared governance:
Shared Governance: What It Can Mean for Nurses
This course is designed to help nurses better understand shared governance and how to implement a successful program.
Structural Empowerment: Boosting Professional Practice
Learn about the significance of structural empowerment in an organization and its impact on nurses’ professional work experience.
Transformational Leadership — A Growing Promise for Nursing
This FREE course will inform you of about transformational leadership in the healthcare setting.