BLOG: UoN joins the ‘Florence Network’. So what does this mean for nursing and midwifery students and staff?
Bruna Tomsic is a Ba Multimedia Journalism student and President of the UoN Media & Journalism Society.
She recently met with UoN colleagues to talk about why our being admitted to the Florence Network is a big deal.
Our University is now a part of a well-established, professional European network for Nursing and Midwifery.
The Florence Network offers opportunities for future health careers and development to staff, academics and students.
Ann Pillans is the Erasmus and Mobility Officer at the University of Northampton. She explains how it happened: “It all started in March 2016 during the Erasmus trip to Denmark University College Absalon where we met an International Lead who suggested that the University should join the network. We were delighted as it was by invitation only!”
A group of academics accompanied by a student Midwife and Paul Irving, who manages the Competence Test Centre at University of Northampton (this is where nurses and midwives are tested to gain registration to work in the UK) got the opportunity to attend the Network’s annual meeting in Bern, Switzerland.
They delivered a presentation about the University in front of the most established health experts in Europe and were proud to hear that The Florence Network decided to accept the University of Northampton.
Paul commented: “This is a big accomplishment for the University and we’ve been working hard to make it happen. Being part of The Florence Network opens up a wide range of opportunities for students and their future development.”
Students can meet their European colleagues who share the same passion for health related studies. They can learn how to operate in a professional environment and develop a wide range of skills starting from confidence and communication. There is also be a chance for staff development for our UoN nursing course colleagues.
The Network’s main goals are to make Nursing and Midwifery more visible in Europe, exchange students and teachers, compare curricula, improve the quality of our nursing and midwifery education and co-operate in further research.
Paul added: “The membership itself raises the profile of our University and the UK health and educational system in general, even more now after receiving Gold in TEF.”
Furthermore, the membership will benefit nursing and midwifery students and help them to travel more during their studies, as well as gain contacts which are essential to their future career.
Ann continued: “As a part of the network, universities host other members of staff around Europe as well. Today we had a lovely visit from Belgium University and explored the opportunities for dental nursing which could lead to expanding Erasmus projects as well.”
So far only one other University in England has been accepted to this unique network and that is Coventry University. This means that University of Northampton is going the extra mile in creating a better future not only for anyone interested in nursing and midwifery, but health studies in general.