I started my nursing career in 1983 in England,qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1986, and practised as a staff nurse in Emergency Care until completing the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting) course in 1990. For the next 15 years then worked within Children’s Services in a variety of roles that included being a Health Visitor , Practice Teacher Health Visiting ,the Trusts Child Protection Nurse Specialist and a Community Nurse Manager for Health Visiting and School Nursing .
In 2009 I attained my first senior leadership and management job ,undertaking the role of Practice Education Coordinator in a Trust . The role was new to Northern Ireland and gave me an opportunity to work strategically and with four colleagues to embedding the 2008 NMC standards for learning and assessment in practice where I lead and managed a team of Practice Education Facilitators, developed and created an infrastructure in the Trust to support an effective learning environment for nursing and midwifery students on a Trust-wide basis.
I developed systems to evaluate the effectiveness of pre and post-registration learning and education activities in practice, to provide an enhanced learning experience for students and mentors, with the added benefits reflected in improved quality of care for patients and clients.
I have also been a quality improvement mentor in the Trust and have been an advocate of work-based learning and workforce development. In 2015 in partnership with the Trust and The Open University, I presented at the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series in Stormont, following a service evaluation of the impact of The Open University Pre-Registration Nursing Degree Programme “Engagement and empowerment: Emancipating healthcare support workers to become registered professionals”.
I have always had an interest in being involved in nurse education and in early 2017, I joined the Open University as the Staff Tutor where I worked with employers in the NHS and the independent sector to enable and facilitate the employers workforce needs with respect commissioning the HWSC Open University modules and quality assured and managed the nursing provision in Northern Ireland
I am currently on secondment to the Central Academic team as a Lecturer in Nursing where I have been a team member on the development of the new level 1 module K102 .I have been able to share my previous knowledge and experience as a health visitor and child protection nurse specialist to help inform the development of the learning guide .I am currently the module chair for the K*117 Level 1 practice based module on the current Pre-Registration Nursing Degree programme and also leading a team of academics on the development of the level 2 practice module for the New Future Nurse Curriculum.