18 September 2015

Packing 'em out in Finland

KOUPIO, Finland—A family wedding (our son Thomas), two visits to Ireland, and one to Finland have taken place since my last entry. The wedding photographs are well aired on family Facebook pages, but I thought it would do no harm to share one here. My talented sister-in-law made the wedding dress.

From left to right: Charles, Joseph, William, Yours Truly, Thomas,
Sally, Deborah, Hannah, Lucia, Amelia, and Rebecca—all Watsons!

The visits to Ireland, made in close succession, were for the purpose of participating on an interview panel for a senior academic position at University College Cork (UCC) and to attend an examinations board at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

I worked in Ireland for six months—from 1998 to 1999—but when the “Celtic Tiger,” the rapid economic expansion that took place in Ireland between 1995 and 2000, inflated house prices and kept my family stuck in Scotland, I had to retreat back to the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, I have maintained regular contact with the Republic and make several visits annually.

Cork is a beautiful place, and I was very grateful to the UCC for two nights—my second stay—in the five-star, family-run Hayfield Manor. In Dublin, I have said goodbye several times to the RCSI at examination boards, but I keep being asked back and have no complaints. It was a pleasure to introduce a good colleague, Parveen Ali, PhD, RN, lecturer in nursing at the University of Sheffield, to Dublin and to have dinner with Catherine McCabe, PhD RN, assistant professor in nursing at Trinity College Dublin, with whom I have worked in Bahrain.

After a weekend at home, I flew to Helsinki and on to Koupio to spend a few days at the University of Eastern Finland. My host here has been Mari Kangasniemi, PhD, RN, with whom I had breakfast in Rome a few years ago at a conference. I am always pleasantly surprised how these unplanned encounters lead to future collaboration.

I gave two classes here, one to assembled masses of doctoral and master’s students in health on how to attract a reader’s attention in a manuscript. (To listen to this lecture as a podcast, click here.) I am rarely able to say that I packed out a lecture theatre, but I did this time. People were sitting on the floor and out in the corridor, and I was asked some excellent and challenging questions at the end.

The point I made about attracting readers’ attention in manuscripts is to realise who the initial readership is—first, the editor-in-chief and then the other editors and reviewers. If you do not take these people into account, your ultimate intended readership will never see your work. My second class, which was more sedate, was a dialogue with the doctoral students in nursing.

Future plans
After I return to the UK, I have no further travel planned for this month. Next month, I go to Australia and possibly Hong Kong and, if plans work out, Saudi Arabia in November. I look forward to teaching my online module in quantitative methods at the end of this month and getting reviews back on the manuscripts I’ve submitted in recent months.

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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