Why did you become a nurse?
Having spent quite a bit of time in and out of hospital as a child/teen, I'd always admired and respected the caring nurse's so decided that was what I wanted to do. Having enjoyed three years as an Air Cadet in my spare time, I opted to join the Air Force to do my nurse training. However, two months before I was due to start I met my husband so switched to train with the NHS at my local hospital.
How has your career developed since you started nursing?
Although I thoroughly enjoyed my first post as a staff nurse on the gynaecology ward, I was keen to develop my career in the community. I was really drawn to the idea of promoting positive health while working with children and families. School nursing has been a fantastic career choice.
What does your current role entail?
School nurses help keep children and young people healthy throughout their school years in order for them to reach their full potential and make informed healthy lifestyle choices. I am passionate about leading our team to support the unique health needs of our younger generation and working with specialist practice students to develop best practice. I was immensely proud to become a Queens Nurse in 2013, recognising my dedication and commitment to providing quality nursing care. I'm also an advocate of social media, I find Twitter an excellent platform to support professional networking and development.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
The most fulfilling part of my job is having the unique position of being able to work in partnership with schools, families and other professionals to support the health needs of children and young people. No two days are ever the same which is a bonus for me.
The least favorite part of my role is all the paperwork and emails that cut down on the time I can spend with the team, children and young people.
How do you see your role developing?
Having progressed from a school staff nurse to a qualified school nurses I now feel very privileged to have been appointed the school nurse manager and professional lead for our super team only last month. It's a very challenging but exciting time for school nursing. I am looking forward to continuing to develop my leadership skills while supporting our team to deliver the best care possible for children and young people.
If you weren't a nurse, what would you be?
I really enjoy being creative on the computer so maybe something like website design or graphic design.
What would you do if you were health secretary?
I would support the reduction of unnecessary paperwork and admin time for nurses by ensuring all nurses had access to the appropriate technology thus allowing them to do their job more efficiently - the DH Nurse Technology Fund is a great step forward for nurses.