03 October 2014

Still in the UK

I returned to the United Kingdom from Italy, via London, on Friday, 26 September, and spent one night in the Waldorf Hilton in central London, courtesy of the Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau. On Saturday morning, the 27th, I gave a talk to several hundred Saudi Arabian students about challenges faced in building a research career and being an editor. This was the inaugural conference of the Scientific Society for Saudi Students in the UK—the next one will convene at the end of January—and the conference was addressed by Saudi Cultural Attaché Faisal Abalkhail. Later, I was interviewed for a film clip that will be used in future publicity.

It was interesting to share with the students that I had visited Saudi Arabia before, during the First Gulf War as a member of the British Forces Middle East, and that I had visited their country since and was planning to again visit in April 2015. Two days later, I was back in London for a meeting of the Lancet Commission on UK Nursing, and two days after that I was back for my first meeting of the Army Nursing Research Professoriate.

Some members of the Lancet Commission on UK Nursing hard at work.
The Lancet Commission is taking shape. We hope to have a substantial amount of writing done by the end of the year and to spend 2015 finalising our report and filling in any gaps in our background information. The proceedings will remain confidential until we publish the report. Once the Research Excellence Framework meetings are finished—and I will be in London next week for the final one—the Lancet Commission moves to the top of my agenda.

Members of the Army Nursing Research Professoriate, notably: Col. Alan Finnegan, front left; Hugh McKenna, chair, 2014 Research Excellence Framework, second row, right; and Col. Breckenridge-Sproat, front, second right.
The Army Nursing Research Professoriate exists to bring together military and civilian people who have an interest in military nursing research. The group was initiated and is led by Col. Alan Finnegan, PhD, QARANC, who is also an honorary professor at the University of Chester in the UK and a member of the Lancet Commission. We were very lucky to have a member of U.S. military personnel present, Col. Sara Breckenridge-Sproat, PhD, RN, regional nurse executive, Europe Regional Medical Command, the Army Surgeon General’s consultant for nursing research.

In the evening, we were invited to the annual cocktail party of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (the QAs), which was held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home of the famous Chelsea pensioners. Col. Finnegan had the pleasure of meeting my daughter Lucy, an officer in the QAs, at the hospital in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, while on a visit there during her tour of duty. The professoriate has ambitious plans for research and publication, and, already, there are several very interesting projects underway with publications beginning to appear.

One more week in the United Kingdom, and my travels start again with a short visit to Canberra, Australia, from where I will post my next entry.

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. Comments are moderated. Those that promote products or services will not be posted.

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