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Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.

What happens when you take care of any plant? It grows and flourishes, right? Do you agree if the same thing is done to students and qualified nurses too?

Richard Branson once stated: “Train people well enough so that they can leave, but treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.”

“It is our responsibility to ensure we are planting the right and fruitful seeds into student nurses”

The work, the workplace and workforce all encompass what we call the ‘work future’. How you make and treat an individual at work influences their perception about the workplace.

If the workplace is becoming a place of pessimism, pressure and pain, the workforce, unfortunately, becomes detrimental.

Linking this with student nurses, it would affect their passion for their future career, their performances and could lead them to give up and drop out.

Using this example for qualified nurses, it will also affect their drive, their work ethic and may result in them resigning early.

Thus, leaving a strain on the NHS and the number of employees in the healthcare industry.

You plant a seed. That seed, in relation to nursing, is the seed of knowledge (and experience).

It starts off small. It could be in the form of a question, which gets an individual thinking and brainstorming. The plant can also be in the form of passed-on information or a skill learnt and practised.

It can be in the form of anything necessary, appropriate and relevant, to later watch it grow and become bountiful.

It is our responsibility to ensure we are planting the right and fruitful seeds into student nurses so that they have a solid starting ground.

For qualified nurses, managers or anyone acting in the senior roles should guarantee that their employees are held accountable but also provide them with ideas and opportunities for them to grow.

Plant those seeds!

Nourishing and taking care of a seed with just water is not sufficient to certify that it develops effectively.

What you tend to find in many workforces is that some employers do not allow room for their employees to progress. This can be because of: racial/religious discrimination; favouritism; lack of communication; lack of resources; lack of funding; inadequate training; no accountability and responsibility; and more.

We must nourish by watering the seed. We must nourish by strengthening the weak spots. We must nourish by being patient and understanding.

Lack of patience and understanding that greatness is accomplished by being calculated, smart and diligent can lead to failure and disappointment.

In this analogy, the seed will, unfortunately, wither away. Are we trying to decrease or encourage the high turnover rates?

We must nourish by filling in the missing gaps of areas under-appreciated and taken care of. Be tender. Show humility. It will encourage faster growth in the seed planted.

Positive pressure can be applied to make us improve and help us thrive with integrity. Remember that diamonds are formed under pressure and heat.

Have the end goal in mind and nourish your ideas by acting accordingly.

Once you have nourished the seed by watering and showering it with love, patience and care, the seed will then become a fruit.

Not just any fruit, but the fruit of wisdom, the fruit of compassion, the fruit of leadership and much more.

A variety of people would take pleasure in eating what started off as a small seed of knowledge because there is more than enough to go around and share. Flourish and share!

Sianne Chinwuba is a paediatric staff nurse, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year 2021

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