We talk to Danielle Garrington-Miller, a 23-year-old paediatric nursing student in her third and final year of training.
danielle garrington miller
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I love children, looking after them, protecting them from harm and supporting their families. I feel incredibly fulfilled.
Where did you train?
The University of Nottingham. It’s a beautiful campus in a vibrant, creative city. The school of health sciences is highly regarded and pulsing with opportunities.
What was your first nursing placement?
General paediatric ward.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I cannot switch off from nurse mode after a shift. My boyfriend is very relaxed and doesn’t do things immediately, while I do jobs with military precision and quickly. I try and explain that it’s how I manage my time for patients!
The student nurses of this generation are politically aware and know their personal worth. We are change agents
From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?
I’m a carer and have cared for some retired nurses who have shared stories and encouragement. There’s a lady at church, Cecilia, who was a paediatric nurse and midwife for a lifetime – she is filled with incredible memories and knowledge.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
You matter. Take your breaks, eat well and be kind to yourself. Look after your own health.
What keeps you awake at night?
I procrastinate all day, then panic and start studying at 2am.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Nursing those from deprived backgrounds. If I can make one change to their future I am satisfied.
What is your proudest achievement?
Being asked if my evidence could be used as example evidence for future students!
What do you think is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
The student nurses of this generation are politically aware, know their personal worth and the value of a well-trained nurse professional. We are change agents. Watch this space.
Which job would you have done if you had not become a nurse?
Primary school teacher. I’m often told I have an affinity with children. In reality I’m just smiley and playful.
What job would you like to be doing in five years? Who knows! I’m nomadic and get restless after two years, so I’ll have a varied career.
What do you think makes a good children’s nurse?
Somebody who cares about children and believes all children should be given a fair and equal chance at living a long, healthy and happy life. They will go out of their way to create the environment, with other health professionals, to make this so.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
We should have wards and specialist nurses for adolescents. Their needs differ greatly from a three-year-old’s.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
An art gallery, antipasti, pudding and laughter.
If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be?
Jeremy Hunt. We’d have a business dinner and discuss nurse education. He would have to pay thanks to my proposed lack of bursary.