From Hong Kong to Turkey by way of the UK.
ATATÜRK AIRPORT, Istanbul, Turkey—One full day at home after Slovenia before flying to Hong Kong seemed very short. I was in Hong Kong for the 20th East Asian Forum of Nursing Scholars (EAFONS), hosted by Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Thus, I was reunited in the Far East with Mark Hayter, my Hull University and Journal of Advanced Nursing colleague. Our commitments and travelling schedules mean we rarely meet in the UK, so it was good to have time to reflect on life, work, and academic publishing.
We are both intensely interested in nursing in the Far East, and EAFONS is a great opportunity to check how things are. We both presented at the conference, and my contribution to a Round Table on Doctoral Education in Nursing is available on podcast. The second keynote by Sonja McIlfatrick, PhD, RN, Ulster University, UK, on the same topic but covering the work of the International Network for Doctoral Education in Nursing (INDEN), of which she is now president, was superb. McIlfatrick made the point that, because a PhD can be clinically oriented, it follows that PhDs can be relevant to clinical practice.
EAFONS provides an opportunity for me to catch up with old friends who are, literally, too many to mention. I was especially pleased to see Sophia Chan, PhD, RN, FAAN, again. Formerly head of the School of Nursing at the University of Hong Kong, she is now undersecretary for Food and Health, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Numerous other FAANs were also there, two of whom I witnessed being inducted into the academy in Washington, D.C., last year.
I also met Tzu-Pei Yeh, PhD. A former PhD student of mine from Taiwan, she is now an assistant professor at China Medical University. I also had an opportunity to meet another very good friend from Taiwan, Lian-Hua Huang, PhD, RN, FAAN. A professor in National Taiwan University School of Nursing, she is now a committee member of the International Council of Nurses.
Hong Kong was, mercifully, cool, and I recommend March as a time to visit. It will not be as cool when I return in June to work with the Hong Kong University Grants Committee.
The other end of Asia
Returning from Hong Kong, I landed at London Heathrow, arrived in Hull late having missed a train. After spending a full day there, I returned the next evening to Heathrow, this time to travel to Turkey to give a keynote titled “From results to readership: Publishing your research” at the first International Congress on Nursing in Antalya, Turkey (click here for podcast).
I had a heart-stopping moment on arriving at Antalya Airport—no driver. I phoned the number I had—“Sorry, no English.” Foolishly, I had no idea where I was staying and no other means of contacting anyone. After a long wait, a man holding a card with ROGER WATSON written on it turned up. This has only happened to me once before—in Turkey!
Most of the proceedings of the two-day conference were in Turkish, but this gave me the opportunity to meet and talk with people individually outside the sessions. I met Gülcan Taskiran, MSc, RN, again, who was a great help. She is a research assistant and PhD student in nursing at Istanbul University, where I met her last December.
I spent my final day in Antalya as a tourist and visited some ancient Roman ruins. The city of Perga is breathtaking, both for the ingenuity of its architecture and sheer size. The 15,000-seat amphitheatre at Aspendos almost defies description.
Time to breathe
My travel schedule is mostly self-imposed, and I pride myself on never putting up an “out of office” email when I am away. But even though I assiduously keep up with emails and writing, travel sometimes makes things are made more difficult. For example, Hull colleagues Jane Wray, MSc, RN, David Barrett, PhD, RN, and I were awarded a substantial research grant by the Burdett Trust for Nursing. The funds will enable us to investigate the transition from student to registered nurse as well as issues related to workforce retention at this critical time. Job adverts for project-related personnel are out, and, in the next few weeks, we will get it running. Meanwhile, I have mountains of data to analyse and several manuscripts in draft to move along toward submission. So, the long-suffering Mrs. Watson will have to put up with me for a few weeks.
However, I have just agreed to my third invitation to China this year to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing. The dean of nursing, Hauping Liu, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a dear friend with whom I was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing in 2007. That's the good news. The great news is my wife is coming with me for her first visit to mainland China.
Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open. Click here to access Blogger-resident entries posted before 2017 in Watson’s blog “Hanging smart.”