I had the pleasure of presenting a paper entitled “The Experiences of Primary Caregivers of Children with Cancer using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis”, at the 16th International Family Nursing Conference a prestigious congress held in Dublin, Ireland.

Without the funding from Doctoral Services at Manchester Metropolitan University and kind help from my supervisors, I would not have had the opportunity to meet international nursing researchers.

On the morning of the first day of the conference I met two other doctoral students from Brazil and USA. It was great to hear about their research and experiences as a doctoral student. The conference was spent listening to interesting research and workshops by many nurse researchers who are experts in their field.

The second day was presentation day for me. I was very happy to give my first oral presentation at an international conference. Since returning from the conference, I’ve actively looked for opportunities to present my work and interact with those who will listen to me talk about it. I realise I need to get more comfortable with presenting and talking in front of large audiences. That said, believe me, by the time you finish your presentation, your sense of achievement will be through the roof! Priceless happiness and self-confidence are your rewards.

The greatest benefit the conference had for me was the opportunity to network. During the conference, I had a number of opportunities to meet and talk with researchers in my field (who gave me very useful comments and suggestions for my study). In addition, while listening to the speeches and presentations, I witnessed how people prepared and presented topics that I had not thought of before.

Finally, the opportunity to attend this conference was beneficial for me on a personal level as it was my first time in Ireland, not only did I have the chance to explore Dublin, but also the conference organisers planned events such as Celtic Nights to promote the culture of the Irish.

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