The University of Lincoln has been involved in the international meeting of nursing students from different European countries over the past 5 years. We wished to continue this work and planned to hold a conference with nursing students in November 2019 due to the positive feedback from all countries from previous conferences.
The project was focused on adolescent health and well-being. The previous conference examined key issues pertinent to an ageing society and this current project aimed to build on this concept of age with exploring topical issues when working with younger people.
The project lasted 5 days and the workshops explored selected topical issues surrounding working with adolescents including those of sexual and reproductive health, mental health issues such as self-harm, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, and substance use including drugs and alcohol awareness. The topics focused on the ethical and legal positions from each country, and students engaged in cultural comparisons. An exploration of the policy and service provision in each country, and the nurses’ role in these services, was included as well as exploration of the population demographics such as religions, migrant populations and social circumstances. The role media plays in these topics was examined in regards to prevention, education and how this influences society’s views.
The work focused on allowing the students to understand how they are directly involved in the shaping of social processes, policy and healthcare delivery. The students provided different views and experiences which they exchanged to identify similarities and differences and gain a deeper understanding of how these issues are present across Europe. The knowledge and skills built will help the young people to care for their local communities in their nursing careers.