Tuesday 3 September marked the beginning of the 30th anniversary of NET, the leading annual international networking in healthcare education conference at Keele University.
The morning began with a welcome from the NET organising committee. It was interesting to hear about the history of the local area around Keele from its thriving industry to subsequent industrial decline and the health inequalities that currently exist. This highlights the importance of education and collaborative practice amongst the attending delegates, all with varying degrees of experience and from different healthcare backgrounds. This year, there is a vast diversity of delegates, with individuals from 18 countries which I believe is testament to the success of the past three decades.
In my pre-conference blog I highlighted my interest in student engagement as someone who held an academic rep role with Northumbria Students’ Union for two years and struggled to get to the root of student disengagement, particularly amongst health and life science students. Both themed sessions I attended at NET today focussed on student experience and engagement. I was particularly impressed by the presentation from Karen Connor of Edge Hill University who discussed student engagement from second year nurses and raised the idea of the “Sophomore slump”, an idea which initially came out of the United States. In my inter-trimester week before I transition into my third year I was able to reflect on my own experiences of the ‘year two blues’ and I highlighted how great it was to see my own thoughts which I was unable to put into words during my second year, being presented on a screen. The final session of the day was delivered by Professor Philip Darbyshire which covered the delicate topic of the culture of bullying and incivility in Nursing and Healthcare.
First themed session of the @AdvanceHE #NETConf19 and it's all about student experience and engagement which I'm really passionate about as a previous academic rep @NorthumbriaUni. Particularly looking forward to hearing about the second year slump which I believe is very real!— Kayleigh McElderry-Wilkinson (@KMWilkinsonStN) September 3, 2019
Attending the final session of the day, delivered by @PDarbyshire and finalising my first blog post of the #netconf2019 as one of @AdvanceHE's Blog Squad members. I hope everyone is looking forward to some well earned socialising at tonight's barbecue, day one has been terrific. pic.twitter.com/DEMWOtZJ8w— Kayleigh McElderry-Wilkinson (@KMWilkinsonStN) September 3, 2019