In July, we welcomed 47 new recruits to the 10th wave of FNP Foundations training – marking nearly a decade of FNP learning since the programme was introduced in England in 2007.
For these 42 family nurses and 5 supervisors, this is just the beginning of a year-long learning programme provided by the FNP National Unit which will continue for as long as they are delivering the FNP programme. As we welcome them on their FNP journey, we asked them to share their reflections about their very first FNP training session.
“I cannot begin to tell you how exciting it is to be able to work within a client-centred programme that genuinely works to facilitate clients’ own solutions, guiding clients toward self-efficacy. It’s ‘The Dream’ isn’t it? It’s the Jackpot!
“My goal ten years ago, when I set out to train as a midwife, was to work in a community setting. This refined pretty quickly over the course of my career to working with young mums in a positive and holistic way, really supporting safeguarding and finding a way of working that really made a difference to community and contributed positively towards the NHS. So FNP is a bit like Christmas, there’s a warm fuzzy feeling amongst the excitement.
“The thing I’m looking forward to the most? Probably graduating my first client. But, prior to that, having the time to spend with women and their babies. The thing I’m more anxious about is the steep learning curve; by that I mean the unravelling and re-ravelling of skills. Because everything will be different.
“I’ll have more time because I’ll work with clients for two years. I’ll have educational and reflectional tools to use that really work. I can drop the ‘control/fixing’ aspect of my work and move towards ‘holding and supporting’ a client’s journey. It will be a more co-operative, gentle, guided, supported way of working. I can light the lantern and walk with them, in a new way but also on a new level that complements my original ethos and goals.
“For me, I will finally be able to communicate in a way that I have been aware of for years but have not quite refined until now. My stock phrase as a midwife was, ‘What do you feel you need at the moment?’ and ‘how do you think I may help you to achieve that?’ Do you know how many people I have worked with who looked at me like I was crazy when they heard me say that?
“Also, after an 8 hour train journey returning home after Foundations training, the young man driving the taxi I got into, at the end of my trip, had a familiar way of talking. He asked me open questions and really supported me in a moment when I was feeling a little fried after a long week of training. I discovered that both him and his partner had a family nurse several years ago, with the arrival of their first daughter, when his partner was 17. He validated my entire week, congratulated me for becoming a family nurse and had nothing but amazing things to say about how the programme had helped him and ‘his missus’.
“I am finally in the right place at the right time, working in a way that really smokes my tyres. Thank you FNP.”