Future force 2020 Royal Naval Reserves navyreserves? gained a teaching qualification with the reserves through the Defence Instructional Techniques course. ‘I get such a buzz from seeing someone make the link between theory and practice; suddenly their world opens up. It is a light bulb moment and I love it.’ The challenge of balancing her two roles has been helped by a flexible employer. ‘They have been incredibly supportive; I work with some fantastic people.’ Ms Pink is required to train for 24 days a year, including one continuous block of 14 days. She says that being a reservist has made her a more rounded individual. ‘I have been able to travel, learn more skills, and I can drive a forklift truck. You work hard and play hard and the camaraderie is second to none.’ The threat of another stroke has not disappeared, nor have the effects of the first two. Ms Pink credits her recovery to her military experience and nursing background. ‘You discover unexpected reserves in yourself,’ she says NS Sonya Thomas is a freelance journalist

Kathy French puts the case for enhanced nurse education

Let’s talk about sex Poor sexual health is a public health concern in the UK with high rates of teenage conceptions, abortions, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and increasing incidence of HIV in London. A report published jointly by sexual health charities Brook and the FPA in 2013, titled Unprotected Nation, concluded that an additional £298.6 million would be needed by 2020 to manage unintended pregnancies, including the provision for 22,036 more NHS abortions. Nurses are approached frequently by patients/clients seeking information or advice on sexual health issues. The former London deanery has funded free sexual health awareness sessions for nurses and students. Based on the ‘every contact counts’ initiative, the objectives of the sessions are to: Build sexual health awareness among nurses and students. Highlight data for teenage conceptions, STIs, HIV and abortion. Educate people about national guidelines. Understand legal issues. RESOURCES Unprotected Nation RCN public health forum British Association for Sexual Health and HIV

Healthcare assistants The Kershaw Family bursaries, worth up to £500, are for healthcare assistants and assistant practitioners to help further their careers. Applicants should have an activity in mind for which they need funding, which can be used to take forward a project or to cover fees for attending a course or conference to learn new skills to benefit patients. The closing date for applications is January 22. Training and research funding The Rae Bequest Training Fund and Marcia Mackie Fund are administered by the RCN and are available for nurses working in Northern Ireland wishing to undertake a course, project or research. The former fund helps nurses undertake a course or programme to benefit nurse education while the latter supports personal professional


Content of learning sessions  Contraception and abortion.  Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.  Teenage conceptions.  Prevention and early intervention.  Consent, sexual assault and female genital mutilation.  National guidelines locally interpreted.  Case studies.



Provide information on local sexual health services. Poor sexual health has a major cost implication for the public health purse as well as for the individual involved. For this situation to improve, nurses should be equipped to help the patients/ clients in their care. Nursing students are our future. Perhaps the Nursing and Midwifery Council could encourage universities to ensure that students and other nurses possess the competencies to promote sexual health? The newly formed Local Education and Training Boards could support such an initiative NS Kathy French is clinical director at Brook

development activity or research that benefits the applicant’s nursing practice, patients and their service. Closing date for applications is January 22 and information and application forms are available at [email protected] Leadership Nurse leaders can apply to attend the International Council of Nurses/Burdett Trust for Nursing 2014 Global Nursing Leadership Institute (GNLI) on September 6-12 in Switzerland. The governance and management programme will help participants understand global health challenges, gain insight into international leadership styles and analyse global leadership activity. Full bursaries are available for up to 15 of the 30 GNLI spots. Closing date for applications is February 15. january 8 :: vol 28 no 19 :: 2014 65

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