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Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Research & Development
  • Education

Area of Practice

  • Adult Nursing


  • Education Provider

Job/Role Summary

I have been employed full time as a lecturer of nursing since 2002.  Prior to this I had worked in role of staff nurse, senior staff nurse and ward manager in hospital settings in Northern Ireland (NI) and England, principly relating to assessment and rehabilitation in stroke and older adult care (total of 19 years clinical practice).  My current lecturer role involves leading the specialist nursing and short course pathways (undergraduate and postgraduate levels) in stroke care.  I support the placement learning of specialist stroke nurses throughout NI, and I support the placement learning of our pre-registration nursing students.  I am committed to interprofessional teamworking in research and education and person-centred care.  I am the module coordinator for the year two BSc Hons preregistration nursing module: Interprofessional and collaborative working.  I am currently engaged in research pertaining to reminiscence in dementia, and other research including investigating the recruitment, selection and retention of nursing students.  In addition I supervise MSc students undertaking research studies in topics pertaining to stroke, nursing older adults, and dementia.  I am also a member of doctoral committees for PhD students, and have responsibilities for examining their study plans and progress..


Specific qualifications and experience required

Qualifications: Registered Nurse, ENB course - Nursing older people, BSc Hons spec nursing practice - stroke care, PGDip Higher Education teaching and learning, MSc Advanced nursing.  I have recently attained PhD by published works, pertaining to Enhancing Nursing Care of Older Adults in hospital settings.  I consider that all these qualifications (or their equivalent) and the experience I have accumulated (outlined in short summary) inform my current role. 


Career Milestones

1982 Attaining registered nurse qualification

1985 ENB course nursing older people - 6 months - cemented my desire for nursing and steering a career focus towards older adult care.

1986 - Attaining ward manager post in rehabiliation ward in community hospital.  Being able to develop staff, and quality of care and quality of live of our patients.  Working collaboratively with community colleagues to enable a smooth transition from assessment to rehabilitation, enablements and through to end of life care.

1992 - returning to N Ireland and gaining experience in acute older adult care

2000 - Attaining BSc Hons Spec Nursing practice stroke care.

2001 - Presenting a practice development project (from the Specialist Practice course) at a regional conference.

2002 - Attaining lecturer of nursing role at Ulster University.  Further developing of learning and teaching skills

2004 - Starting my research and publication career

2005 - Developed PGDip/MSc interdisciplinary dementia studies course, and stroke pathways.

2012 - Steering group member of annual stroke forum conference in NI

2014 - Successful attainment of large grant for reminiscence in dementia research

2014 - Membership of Ethics Filter committee of Institute of Nursing and Health Research

2016 - Attaining PhD by published works, and membership of doctoral committees.


What attracted you to this job?

Ready to further my knowledge and skills in supporting learning. A desire to use my passion for active ageing, to enthuse a new generation of nursing students.  


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

Working collaboratively with service users and their family carers, students, teaching colleagues, research colleagues, clinical practice colleagues, the Public Health Agency, Alzheimer's Society, Reminiscence Network NI, and UK Stroke Forum. 

Having some flexibility to plan my workload

Being able to share my passion for active ageing in learning, teaching, research, publications, conferences

Being able to work with highly motivated colleagues and researchers

Being responsbile for the quality of my work


Challenging aspects of the job/role

I enjoy challenging myself to higher quality of work in supporting learning, teaching, project management and research.


Important success factors

A work culture that permits me to steer my own path. 

Acceptance from work colleagues.

Being in tune with my values and beliefs

A willingness to learn from others. 

Belonging to an intergenerational family that is firmly rooted in community.

Owning a phrase from E.A Guest 'He started to sing as he tackled the thing, that could not be done, and he did it' (I change it to 'she'). 

Acknowledging that I am and others around me are works in progress - 'Today is a practice for tomorrow'. 

Taking responsbility for my work/life balance so that I have time for family, hikes, adventures and camps in the wilds of Ireland.    


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

Know yourself and go for it

You have an important contribution to make to shape nursing of tomorrow.

Be alert to your learning and development needs and take care to steer your own career path.

Identify positive role models, and seek their support

Whatever challenges you encounter, other more senior colleagues will have confronted similar, ask for their guidance


Key skills that can be gained within this job/role?

Coaching skills

Teamworking and networking skills

Research supervision skills

Project management skills

Enhancements in learning and teaching skills

Writing for publication


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