Potential Speaker for Nursing Congress 2019- Vanessa Heaslip

Title: Importance of Diversity in Nursing and Nurse Education

Vanessa Heaslip

Bournemouth University, UK

Biography

Dr Vanessa Heaslip is a Principal Academic/Deputy Head of Research in the Department of Nursing & Clinical Science within the Faculty of Health and Social Science at Bournemouth University in the UK and an Associate Professor for the Department of Social Sciences at Stavanger University, Norway. She is a nurse by clinical background and has extensive experience in nursing and nurse education. In 2015, she was awarded Bournemouth University Postgraduate Research Prize for her unstinting commitment and dedication to the pursuit of higher knowledge concerning disadvantaged and marginalised groups. In addition, she had also been nominated for numerous awards for innovative approaches in medical education as well as the inclusion of the patient voice in nurse education. 
Her general research interests are in the field of vulnerability and vulnerable groups in society whose voices are not traditionally heard in the academic and professional discourse. In particular, she is interested in marginalised communities who experience inequity of opportunity in accessing health care services and education. She has worked on National groups such as; steering committee for the Mary Seacole Awards which encourage projects to address health inequalities experienced by Black and Ethnic Minority Groups, as well as with the Department of Health and regional groups on Values Based Recruitment.
Dr Vanessa Heaslip has numerous publications including book contributions, journal articles (professional and peer reviewed), editorials and discussion papers. She is on the Editorial board for the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Abstract

Due to increased opportunities for mobility the world is becoming more diverse; this results in communities consisting of a myriad of races, ethnic minority groups, languages, religions, socio-economic groups and experiences. This diversity like threads in a tapestry, contributes to a richer, fuller and more exciting world in which to live; a world which enriches the lives of the people which inhabit it. Nurses have the privilege of working with and integrating with this rich tapestry, as they encounter and work with diverse individuals in their everyday professional practice. However, alongside this privilege comes a great responsibility. Nurses have a unique position in society; they care for individuals at points in their lives when they are at their most vulnerable and in their greatest need, as such it can be argued that the nursing profession needs to reflect the wider diverse of the population that they serve. Alongside this there are professional imperatives to increase diversity within the workforce, in order to address the international shortage of nurses. Within Higher Education these initiatives are often labelled as Widening Participation (WP) which is ultimately concerned with equity; encouraging a wider diversity of entrant to higher education and supporting them to succeed in their studies. WP is espoused within educational policy both in the United Kingdom (UK) and internationally, as a mechanism to promote equality and social mobility. A recent integrative review by the author has identified a lack of conceptualisation and focus regarding mechanisms to both encourage and support a wider diversity of entrant into the profession. This key note shall explore issues related to diversity both within the nursing profession as well as nursing preparatory programmes; drawing upon the author’s current and past research.