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'I love this job and there's lots left to do'

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We talk to the chief nursing officer for Scotland, Ros Moore, who has been a nurse for 32 years

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

My friend became a learning disabilities nurse and she changed completely and I wanted some of that.

Where did you train?

Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield

What was your first job in nursing?

I was a single parent and my first job was a staff nurse on nights on an elderly medical ward.

What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?

Your traits can work positively or negatively. I am reflective which is good, but that can look like procrastination.

From whom have you learnt most from in your nursing career and why?

The other UK CNOs are a source of wisdom, as are other nurse leaders. From Ann, a sister at my first job, I learnt to keep in touch with the humanity of older patients with dementia. In Ayr, I met an older lady who after years of severe mental health problems had been enabled by the staff to start communicating. She gave me a green sweetie, which I carry with me - it keeps me grounded.

What advice would you give someone starting out?

To look for the humanity in all people and treat each person as an individual of value and potential, regardless of the challenges they or their situation may present; and to remember that nursing gives you privileged access to people’s most intimate and life changing events and to never take that lightly.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

The diversity - I have an opportunity to make a difference to the people of Scotland, to nursing and to staff.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Managing to balance a fantastic career with a fantastic family life and overcoming adversity - not always easy. Professionally, being at the forefront of something that makes a real difference to people’s lives - for that reason, being one of NHS Direct pioneers has to stand out.

Which job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?

As a child I wanted to be a writer, a teacher or an actress.

What job would you like to be doing in five years?

I love this job and there is lots left to do.

What do you think makes a good nurse?

Technical, interpersonal and cognitive skills aligned with a strong moral and values base but with a leadership drive that can get things done.

If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?

I would like education, training and development to always be prioritised as an investment not a cost.

What would your ideal weekend involve?

Spending time with my family and loved ones.

If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?

At this very moment it would be my mum.

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