Sep 18

Why learning from your peers is so important

Posted: 18 September 2018

During #learnsomethingnew month, we hear from Carol Harris, registered nurse at The Lawns Nursing Home and Chair of the Worcestershire registered managers network. She offers an insight into the importance of learning from your peers and how her local registered manager network offers the ideal opportunity to do just that.

Carol feels that it’s important to share her knowledge and experiences whenever she can and says it’s also part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council code of conduct.

Earlier this year, Carol was invited to attend Buckingham Palace, having been nominated by the South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for her services to palliative end of life care. This event marked a celebration of Carol’s achievements over her career.

 What does your role in social care involve and why is it important to share experiences with others?

I mentor pre-registration student nurses from Worcester University and have done for several years. I also mentor the health and social care students from the university; those undertaking a two-year course to become nurses, paramedics or going into therapies. Carol also accepted two new nurse associates for a placement this year.

Why is it important to be involved in your registered manager network?

It can be very lonely being a home manager, so to have a forum where managers can meet and network, like the registered manager network, is really useful.

How does the network run?

We are a relatively new network that was launched in October 2017. We try and set agendas around what it is members need and would like to know. We usually invite two to three speakers to each meeting to offer information or advice around various issues.

How has the network helped managers in your area?

I think the most important thing it offers is a safe, confidential forum where managers can discuss any problems they may have and ask for advice and learn from other managers, and to realise that it isn’t only them! It is, of course, a learning environment which can be tailored to meet specific needs.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining their local registered manager network?

Join as soon as you can! You will become part of an excellent support group, be able to network with your peers and keep up-to-date with the latest news and any changes.

Tell us a bit about your visit to Buckingham Palace?

South Worcestershire CCG nominated me for my services to palliative and end of life care. Earlier this year, an invitation arrived from the Master of the Queen’s Household who had been commanded by Her Majesty to invite me to an evening reception. I was amazed, excited and terrified at the same time. It transpired that 300 front line nurses had been invited, but I was only one of forty to be presented to HRH Prince Charles. This was an amazing experience and he was so relaxed, making me feel like I was the most important person to him. He made little jokes about how nurses were his favourite people, it was lovely.

The whole event had been arranged to acknowledge the work that front line nurses do on a day-to-day basis. Some of the nurses I meet do amazing jobs; sometimes with little reward, so this was very special. 

Carol Harris - Learning from your peers

Find out more

Skills for Care facilitates over 150 networks across England to support registered managers to network with like-minded peers, share information and develop their knowledge.

For out more about networks and find your local registered manager network here.