Attending the RCN International Nursing Research Conference as a ‘Lone Attender’ – a small-scale, multi-method study

S. Sutton-Smith, S. Dunbar, B. Jack, A. Caress

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


    Background: Informal feedback from previous conferences suggested that those attending alone can find this quite daunting and may consequently not gain full benefit from the conference. The RCN Research Society North West Forum Group therefore undertook a piece of work, with support of the Forum’s National Steering Committee, to explore the views and needs of such “lone attenders”. Methods: A multi-method approach was adopted ie a questionnaire survey of a convenience sample of ‘lone attenders’ to the 2007 conference and analysis of field notes, taken with participants’ consent, at a related fringe event at this conference. Questionnaire data were analysed using descriptive statistics and fringe field notes thematically analysed. Results 27 adequately completed questionnaires were returned and 18 delegates attended the fringe. Data from the two sources have been combined (as the questionnaire and fringe discussion ‘topic guide’ were designed to be complementary). Particularly problematic areas for lone attenders were identified as being: • Accommodation (cost, location, practical issues) • The evening before the conference (eating alone, feeling welcomed, practical issues) • Conference dinner (perceptions and experiences of the dinner, practical issues) Particular issues for overseas delegates and student nurses/postgraduates were identified. Participants made several suggestions to enhance the experience for future ‘lone attenders’, relating to Pre-conference information • Local information for delegates • ‘Signposting’ for lone attenders • Evening and pre-conference events Potential solutions would involve additional web-based, print-based and face-to-face information and support. Conclusions: This small-scale project has confirmed that some delegates find attending the conference on their own daunting. Data could be used to enhance the experience for future delegates at this conference, as well as by others planning conferences and comparable events for nurses. Source of Funding: RCN Research Society National Steering Committee Amount in Funding: 200
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference - Britannia Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, United Kingdom
    Duration: 8 Apr 200811 Apr 2008


    ConferenceRoyal College of Nursing (RCN) International Nursing Research Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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