We talk to Jackie Stephen-Haynes, professor in tissue viability at Birmingham City University, and consultant nurse at Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, who has been a nurse for 31 years.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I enjoy being with people and I have a caring nature. I was also influenced by my mother, who was a nurse, and my husband, who said that it was important to have a career.
Where did you train?
What was your first job in nursing?
Orthopaedics, which I later specialised in.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I want to get on with things and sometimes this is frustrating in the NHS.
What is the most important thing you have learnt in your nursing career?
Get the fundamental things right every time for every patient, combine the art and science of nursing, value those around you, function as a team and maintain your own sense of humour.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
Enjoy. Nursing is a fantastic career and you can really make a difference to patients. Also, do your academic study to benefit your career.
What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing. I only have about 6-6.5 hours, so I’m usually tired. I do like to read The Times in bed.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Delivering clinical care, developing staff and undertaking audit/research.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Becoming a nurse and a professor. I lost my mom and it would have been great for her to be at the professorial lecture.
At home, it is being married to Chris for 24 years and our son Alex.
What do you think will change nursing in the next decade?
More accountability, challenges and opportunities.
What would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
When I was young, I wanted to work with dolphins. I am also a qualified chef, dressmaker and tailoress … but there isn’t another job and it has been a privilege to be a nurse, a district nurse, a specialist, a consultant nurse and now a professor.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
The same as now but with Woundcare 4 Heroes, a charity I am chair of, delivering effective wound care.
What makes a good nurse?
Realising that nursing is both an art and a science, well-informed care delivery and being patient.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
Increased equity across professional groups with equal recognition of the contribution of nurses, supported by managers to deliver care.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
The sea or the Lake District, dry weather, walking, spending time with family and friends, good food, The Sunday Times and a gin and tonic.
If you could spend an hour with someone, who would it be?
David Bowie, who’s always been my hero.