Anyone for coffee?

On March 8th 2018 I went to the  Royal Infirmary Edinburgh (RIE) along with seven of my colleagues engaged in graduate nursing studies at the University of Edinburgh to profile the launch of Nursing Now—a  global campaign aimed to raise the profile of nurses.  To embody the essence of the Nursing Now campaign, we graduate students went to  the nursing units at RIE to give nurses a gift of coffee as gesture of gratitude.Nursing Now RIE

One hundred and twenty cups of coffee were handed out on over sixteen nursing units!  It was amazing to see the response of the staff nurses when the we came around to hand out the coffees.  Many of them saw us coming and asked cynically “oh you brought us coffee?”  When we said,”yes we did, would you like one?” It was amazing, the nurses  body posture became relaxed and a smile stretched from ear to ear. “Really!” They respond,  “You shouldn’t have, that’s really very nice of you!” Many would said.  Some, were a bit more suspicious: “what’s the catch?”  “Nothing” we said, “we are nurses from different parts of the world doing our graduate work and we want to say thank you as nurses for the great work that you do.”  When we introduce ourselves as nurses, I think that opened the conversation. It seemed that nurses did not expect to be sought out specifically to be thanked, and it was apparent that they appreciated the gesture. Nursing Now RIE

To understand the challenges of nurses and to get an understanding of how nurses could support other nurse in their work we asked many nurses on our rounds “If you could change the world tomorrow as a nurse, what would you do?”  We documented the response as we went around (see photo attached). Common responses included “more staff” and  “better pay”, with variations in that theme being “just fill the positions we have,” and “can we show people what the actual cost of  health care is.”   Many nurses wanted  “to have more involvement in the resuscitation status of patients” and decisions around health care structure and delivery stating:  “involve nurses at all levels of decisions making.” Unique responses included “use Facebook,” and “support nurses working full scope” to “show patients care and most importantly, LOVE”. Nurses Wish List

What struck me about this experience was how committed nurses are to their work and their patients; and nurses want to get it right!  I am reassured that nurses will have the capacity and inspiration to be the leaders of the future.  By supporting each other,  I am certain we nurses will further find energy and capacity to create new directions in healthcare.

Andrew Waddington, RN from Calgary, Canada

Nursing Now Launch!

Nursing Now Logo

Nursing Now is a global campaign which launches this week in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and International Council of Nurses. Nursing Now is based on the findings of the Triple Impact report. The report concluded that as well as improving health globally, empowering nurses would contribute to improved gender equality as the vast majority of nurses are women, and build stronger economies.

Nurses and nursing students from the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian are joining the international launch this week by involving Edinburgh in the global conversation and giving nurses a voice in the future of healthcare.

Representatives of Nursing Now from the University of Edinburgh will be visiting the wards of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh to take coffee to the nurses on duty to thank them for the care they are giving – and to let them know their voice matters.

Nursing Now continues to highlight the essential role and crucial knowledges which nurses bring to healthcare – to elevate the imperative work of nurses worldwide we are going to as the nurses of Edinburgh “If you could change the world tomorrow, as a nurse….”

The Nursing Now global campaign launched 27 February 2018, tickets available for the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh event Thursday 1 March 2018.

Andrew Waddington, RN
(MsC Nursing, University of Edinburgh)

Professors Aisha Holloway & Tonks Fawcett visit Sri Lanka

Following a preliminary visit by Aisha in April 2017 to University of Peradeniya to facilitate opportunities with key stakeholders such as charities, community nurses working in public health, alcohol, mental wellbeing, Aisha returned with Tonks to develop opportunities for PG education and research collaboration. The visit from 12th to 17th November 2017, was facilitated by Amrita Sadarangani, Regional Director, South Asia, India & South Asia Liaison Office, University of Edinburgh. During the five days in Sri Lanka, Aisha and Tonks visited three universities and met with officials from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, the Department of Commerce as well as the British High Commission and the British Council.

Tonks and Aisha visiting the British High Commision Sri LankaThe Pera team

Key outcomes from the highly successful trip include:

  • University of Sri Jayewardenepura — Clinical Elective opportunities for UoE UG Nursing students with reciprocal arrangement for UoSri
  • University of Colombo — Reciprocal student and staff exchanges particularly in research and distance learning PhD for Nursing Faculty staff
  • University of Peradeniya — discussions built on previous visit by Aisha and continuing development of elective opportunities and distance learning PhD for Department of Nursing Staff

At a time when Sri Lanka is looking to national and international development with an active openness for opportunities and collaborations in many areas, the University of Edinburgh is currently well positioned, due to existing educational and research links at Peradeniya University to respond to Global Health priorities.KandySri Lanka sea at Colombo

Global Nursing Seminar

Over the last 18 months Professors Aisha Holloway and Pam Smith have been working with global nursing leader and policy activist Jane Salvage exploring the global nursing agenda through a series of scholarly exchanges. On Thursday 7 December, Nursing Studies hosted a seminar to welcome Jane. She is Visiting Professor at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London, and at the School of Nursing, Coimbra, Portugal.

Jane Salvage

The seminar covered a range of issues including:

  • Thinking nursing, thinking globally, acting locally
  • Nursing Now! – how you can get involved in the global campaign to transform health systems
  • Crisis and opportunity in nursing leadership

The future development of nursing is of vital importance to global health. Despite its great traditions and good practice, nursing faces great challenges – but a window of opportunity is open:  the need to support and scale up nursing is finally being recognised. One game-changer is Triple Impact, a UK parliamentary review of the future development of nursing globally and to which Professors Aisha Holloway and Pam Smith provided written evidence on ‘Leadership’. Alongside other new initiatives, it has provided a springboard for a new global nursing movement, called Nursing Now!

Triple Impact

The stakes could not be higher. Strengthening nursing globally is central to achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals; delivering universal health coverage and better health for all; improving the lives of women at work; and strengthening local economies. The obstacles include worsening long-term shortages of resources and staff; difficulties with recruitment, retention and return; undervaluing of nurses’ work, such as inappropriate substitution of registered nurses with less qualified staff; poor quality and/or lack of initial and continuing education; and lack of research capacity and awareness. The social and economic returns on investing in nursing are potentially massive, yet the need for this investment is poorly understood.

CRFR Seminar

Nurses are taken for granted, seldom heard and even more seldom heeded. To the detriment of communities, health services and patients everywhere, we are well nigh invisible at top tables. In the boardrooms, offices and conference halls where key health decisions and policies are made, nurses are absent or our voices are muted.

Recent years have seen numerous reports, commissions and strategies on nursing at national, regional and international levels. Many repeat existing knowledge and aspirations, and their recommendations are rarely fully implemented. Nurses talk about them to each other, but few others take much notice. Strong and effective nursing leaders are needed to tackle this huge agenda, and every nurse and every nursing student has a part to play.

See also:

APPG Global Heath

Support for development of nursing globally – a letter from the new WHO Director General

Visit to Japan

Identifying best practice and developing guidelines for migrant care workers to provide culturally sensitive person-centred care for older people and people with dementia in Japan

Dr Radha Adhikari and Professor Pam Smith have just spent 12 days in Japan collecting data for this project funded by the Butterfield Awards for UK-Japan collaboration in medical research and public health practice. Radha is the PI and the project builds on her research collaboration since 2014 with Professor Ruth Carlos, Professor of Economics, Faculty of International Studies, Ryukoko University, Kyoto on the global workforce and migrant care workers in Japan.

Radha interviewing a Filipina care worker

Radha interviewing a Filipina care worker

Group discussion at the Nara Higashi Hospital Group

Group discussion at the Nara Higashi Hospital Group

Group photo at the Maimu Nursing Home, Maizuru, Kyoto

Group photo at the Maimu Nursing Home, Maizuru, Kyoto

Radha & Pam visiting a temple to see Autumn leaves

Radha & Pam visiting a temple to see Autumn leaves

Mount Fuji from the Shikansen ‘bullet train’

International PG Students visit Clinical Areas in NHS Lothian

This year one of the current MSc Students hosted student colleagues her own clinical area.


Angie Balfour is currently an MSc student herself offered a group of international students an insight to her clinical work at NHS Lothian.

20161124_145016Angie was able to describe the research she is involved in and the innovative practice she is prompting both here in Scotland and across the globe. The students had many questions and reflections to share from their own practice and country of origin.

20161124_143431They were intrigued to see the early mobilisation of patients after elective surgery and the type of interventions Angie is able to embed within clinical practice. Being in the coldest corridor in Scotland will also be one of the vivid memories that our international students will take away from the fantastic visit that Angie organised for – A big thank you from us all!20161124_141222

New Norms and Forms of Development, Malawi dissemination event, Lilongwe

New Norms and Forms of Development, Malawi dissemination event, Lilongwe

26th of August 2016, 8 am – 2 pm

The final dissemination event of the New Norms and Forms of Development project was held at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi. The Guest of Honor was Dr. Ronald Mangani. The 37 participants included national and international donor agencies and NGOs, academics and Malawian Government officials. Mr Gibson Masache, on behalf of our research partner Kamuzu College of Nursing gave a brief introduction to the day’s programme. He then introduced Ms. Fannie Kachale (Director, Reproductive Health Unit, MoH) who welcomed the Guest of Honour and other participants, including the research team in KCN and University of Edinburgh. Ms Kachale then briefly talked about the Maternal and Child Health situation in Malawi, and her support towards this research and the value of the findings for External Development Partners and also for the Malawian Health system.

Based on his current experience as the Secretary to the Treasury, Government of Malawi, Dr. Ronald Mangani gave a very moving talk on foreign aid in Malawi and the major challenges related to donor coordination. He highlighted aid dependency a major development challenge in the country. He also talked about another major issue of aid sustainability, as there is an increasing trend in donors channeling funds outside of the government system. Prof. Address Malata and Prof. Pam Smith gave a brief introduction to the research project and the nature of collaboration / partnership between the KCN and University of Edinburgh. Then Dr. Jeevan Sharma and Dr. Radha Adhikari presented key research findings, which were:

  • Social and political organization plays a key role in international development
  • Use of relationships and institutional networks is vital for programmatic success
  • Development projects and programmes are based on new norms of ‘value for money, evidence and measurement of results’.

Following the event, participants gathered for a group photograph to celebrate the successful completion of the project.


There was a dedicated time for open discussion. Participants raised very important issues around foreign aid, sustainability and donors’ behavior and current challenges the Malawian government/health system is facing. All participants were very engaged and raised critical questions around the foreign aid channeling mechanism in Malawi. In summary, all participants found our study findings critical to Malawi’s health system and very policy relevant. A number of participants including Dr. Ruth Mwandira from the DFID, Victoria Loiya, GIZ (Technical Advisor) suggested that they would share the key findings with their senior policy staff in their organisations.


Nursing Studies Student receives an Undergraduate Award!

Nursing Studies Student, Esther Cherukara, is the Regional Winner in the Nursing and Midwifery category in the Undergraduate Awards.

The Undergraduate Awards (UA)announced the winners of the 2016 programme with entrants from across the University of Edinburgh featuring in top spots. Cited as the ultimate champion of high-potential undergraduates, and often referred to as a “junior Nobel Prize”, The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s largest international academic awards programme, recognising excellent research and original work across the sciences, humanities, business and creative arts.

The Undergraduate Awards received a record number of submission in the 2016 programme, totalling a massive 5,514 papers from undergraduates  in 244 institutions and 121 nationalities.


Esther’s paper ‘The India Pad Project’ is the highest performing paper in the Europe region in the Nursing and Midwifery category. The Regional Winner is the highest performing Highly Commended paper within their region.

The India Pad Project was first created for the honours option in Global Public Health I took in third year. I had already decided to go to India for my clinical elective and so thought it would be a good idea to learn more about the country before I went. I have a strong interest in women’s health and upon doing some reading into the matter I realised that the topic of menstruation and reproductive health is still a very taboo topic in India. The project had several aims and was inspired by one of a similar nature already in place in Uganda.


The first aim was to provide women of all ages with a good education in reproductive health. The next was to provide sustainable jobs for women by teaching them how to manufacture and sell reusable sanitary products. These would then be available for all women, particularly adolescent girls as many are missing school because of their period. By providing them with proper sanitary products it would encourage school attendance allowing them to get a full education and go on to achieve their dreams.


As a student nurse at Edinburgh University I’ve always been encouraged to pursue my goals which is why I want to do the same for these women. Actually going to India for my clinical elective was an extraordinary experience. It has made me really appreciate how excellent the NHS really is and has made me all the more excited for qualifying as a nurse in 2017.

Well Done Esther- what an exciting project and well deserved award!



Welcome to the new MSc ANP students!

We welcomed the new cohort of MSC/MN students who joined us this year and sent them to what is now a customary ‘initiation’ exercise – our Royal Mile treasure hunt.

The treasure hunt is now an annual event in the Nursing studies calendar and offers the new students to get to know each other and see the city.


The bad weather did not hold them back and they were able to find the clues and answer all – well almost all – the questions.

Following a rigorous judging the team with the highest score (240 from available 200) was declared winners!


New Norms and Forms of Development

Brokerage in Maternal and Child Health Service Development and Delivery in Nepal and Malawi

Radha Adhikari and Pam Smith are currently in Kathmandu, Nepal disseminating the project findings at a conference and workshop. The ESRC/DFID funded project is due for completion in October 2016.

Annual Kathmandu Conference on Nepal and the Himalaya

On 27 July Radha presented a paper on the Role of Networks and Relationships in International Aid and Maternal and Child Health. The presentation was part of a panel on New Norms and Forms of Development in the Health Sector in Nepal chaired by Jeevan Sharma, Lecturer, Social Anthropology, the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh and a member of the research team. The following day, 28 July, Radha chaired a panel on The Use of Social Science Method in Mental Health Research and Intervention Design in Nepal.

Pam, Radha and Jeevan at the conference

Pam, Radha and Jeevan at the Conference


Nepal Dissemination Workshop

The project has benefited from strong partnerships between the Schools of Health in Social Science and Social and Political Science. University of Edinburgh, Social Science BAHA, Nepal and the Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi:Project Partnerships

Obindra Chand, Social Science BAHA undertaking Fieldwork

Obindra Chand, Social Science BAHA undertaking Fieldwork

The workshop took place on August 1st at the Annapurna Hotel, Kathmandu attended by 42 delegates from funding agencies, universities, NGOs, the Ministry of Health and the project team. The discussions centred on the social and political organisation of external development assistance, the importance of networks and relationships in the functioning of MCH projects, and the ‘new norms’ which emphasise ‘value for money, evidence and measurement of results’. An open discussion followed on the policy and practice implications of the research.

Click on the link to view photos taken at the workshop


Pam Smith, Radha Adhikari

Kathmandu, August 1st 2016