So long, Farewell...

Comment and Opinion

Joan Pons Laplana RGN, Transformation Nurse, James Paget University Hospitals FT


So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye, PCNR leaves, we heave a sigh...






I remember the first time that Deborah contacted me and asked if I was interested in writing an article for her magazine. We had met ‘on Twitter’ during  a discussion about the 6cs - and she ended by asking me if I wanted to write an article about the campaign.

My first thought was that she must be joking. Me? Writing an article? I was good with 140 characters but the thought of writing 700 words about a subject horrified me. I had no confidence in my English grammar and until then, each time I had been asked to write, I always answered in the same way; “I rather do an interview instead.” But for some reason this time I accepted the challenge. Maybe I found the courage because it was a subject that I knew inside out. So, believe it or not, that was the first article I wrote. That was 3 years ago, and since then, I have written a piece in every edition.


Amazingly, that article was the catalyst for something that I would never imagine happening. I had always avoided writing, but slowly and surely, word after word, sentence after sentence, writing unlocked a new world for me. As Spaniard I am quite emotional - often I act before I think - but this process made me stop and reflect about my experience and knowledge, and made me realise not only what I knew about the subject, but also what I was missing. I wanted to verify and explore further, to obtain some meaningful data to back up my ideas. I found the experience very powerful, cathartic and fulfilling.

Without realising it, by trusting me and believing in me, Deborah managed to unlock my potential. Writing my opinions and my own experiences has made me improve the way I work. Reflecting on a piece of blank paper has helped me enormously and allowed me to put order onto my thoughts and theories. It has given me back the hunger for filling my knowledge gaps. I have always underestimated the power of reflection. I am a very creative and often my ideas and opinions live in chaotic environment inside my head. My brain often goes a thousand miles an hour, but writing an article made me stop; it made me put my thoughts in order and reflect on them. Because of that I have become a better nurse. For that I will always be thankful to Deborah.

Au revoir, not goodbye*

You always remember the first of everything. Your first love, your first kiss, your first car…and for me PCNR will always occupy a special place on my heart as it was the first magazine to publish one of my articles. I owe a lot to PCNR. The last 3 years have been incredible, and my path has gone from strength to strength - the magazine has helped me to become the person I am today. It has given me confidence to express my thoughts and challenge other ideas, to debate and not to shy away. It was my first step into publishing. Since then I have written for the major nursing journals including  the Nursing Standard and the Nursing Times. But also made me realised that an article is a very powerful tool to reach wider audiences. If someone had told me 3 years ago that just a few weeks ago I will be doing a speech at Parliament Square in front of 80,000 people, I would have laughed loudly and told them to get lost. Yet, in the last few months my name has appeared in national newspapers and I’ve been on both national and international television. Writing has allowed my ideas and messages to be more powerful and reach audiences that I would have never imagine.

Sudden sadness overcomes me at the thought that PCRN is closing. But I also have a feeling of gratitude. PCNR is a unique magazine that often gives space to voices that often the main-stream national magazines ignored. I have learned a lot reading each edition and I will sincerely miss it.

From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU

*As we will still be putting interesting news, articles and opinion pieces on our Facebook site, this will not be the last you hear from Joan!

My first thought was that she must be joking. Me? Writing an article? I was good with 140 characters but the thought of writing 700 words about a subject horrified me.