The proposal to arrange a structured student recruitment campange came about after 2 motions were passes and annual delegate conference 2011, the 2 motions one proposed by Laois Offaly mental health services and a second by Sligo Leitrim mental health services.
Both motions hade similar ideas one called for “the PNA invest in an orientation / welcome pack for first year student nurses on an annual basis to better enable branches recruit students on entry to the undergraduate course” and the second specifically looked for “the PNA to appoint a member of the officer board to have responsibility for student nurses” both motions were passed at conference and were placed on the agenda for the July officer board meeting. At which time i was appointed as chairmen of the student group.
At a first meeting of the group a 4 point student recruitment plan was created, in brief the plan was
• To visit all the 13 colleges and recruit students, and as was set down in motions to have a pack to provide to all students.
• To visit colleges again prior to 4 th year students commencing there internship, to provide information on the local union representatives, and other helpful information.
• That each branch would elect a recruitment / student representative.
• That the officer board would create a system of listening to students and form a committee for students voices to be heard.
The process of rolling out this plan was discussed and packs ordered, and a open day held in head office to discuss the plan as it would roll out in each of the colleges. The colleges were contacted and dates arranged.
Out of the 13 third level Institutes, 11 have been visited and first year students recruited, the from the remaining 2 plans are agreed for one and plan are in discussion on another. It is important to note that students do not pay union subscription and the reality is that students can “test drive” the PNA for 4 years and then decide what union to join. With this in mind our major goal is to inform students and be available to them at all times.
In the most recent week we have made contact with the 13 colleges and requested access to the students again this time aiming to meet the 4 th years, it has not been as easy with little feedback and time table difficulties been flagged as a concern form many of the colleges, however this remains a plan.
What each branch now need to do.
It would be most useful if each branch could elect a recruitment/student officer that i can liaise with for the upcoming student recruitment events. If these names and details could be passed to me i would be grateful.
What the office board now need to do.
The officer board will discuss how to include student more and how to hear the students issues, it would be important to have each branch recruitment/ student officers view and ideas on how best to do this.
The first year recruitment drive has been particularly successful, this year and this is down to the individual branch members that showed up to colleges and talked to students and took part in the plan. On behalf of the committee I must thank you all for your support, and i look forward to working with you all during the 2012 recruitment drive.