Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


'Listen and hear what is being communicated.'

  • Comment

We talk to Karen Hill, senior nurse of professional development at Derby Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust. She has been a nurse for 30 years.

karen hill

karen hill

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

I was influenced by watching Angels on TV and enjoyed patching up Dad’s pigeons and bandaging the dog!

Where did you train?

I was a student nurse at Derby Royal Infirmary.

What was your first job in nursing?

My first post was on a newly opened day surgical ward, which was quite innovative at the time, as we used Orem’s self-care model and introduced primary nursing and pre-clerking. Sister Claire was a visionary nurse leader.

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

I am so impatient. My best friend tells me I should live in the moment so I can enjoy life – wise words.

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

I have had the privilege of learning from many wonderful people; however my first ward sister encapsulated care, kindness and compassion, which she instilled into me as a student nurse. I have had the good fortune to work with and learn from some brilliant health care assistants… I also have a pretty amazing chief nurse who is generous with her mentorship and guidance.

My first ward sister encapsulated care, kindness and compassion, which she instilled into me as a student nurse

What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?

Be prepared for hard work, never be afraid to ask tricky questions and reflect and learn from everyone you come into contact with. Listen and hear what is being communicated. Embrace change and transformation in a positive way.

Most of all, smile!

What keeps you awake at night?

Apart from the local trains, a snoring dog and adopted cat!

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Seeing people develop, progress and reach their full potential. Enabling people to believe in themselves.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Putting on my belt and silver buckle and holding the keys as a registered nurse.

What do you think is likely to change nursing in the next decade?

Technology, social media and the public health agenda have to be high on the list.

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

Vet or archeologist.

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

This job because I have people development, patient contact and engage with many partners.

What do you think makes a good nurse?

The ability to read situations quickly, make common sense decisions and motivate and inspire others.

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

Professional silo working.

What would your ideal weekend involve?

Being with my loved ones, walking in the beautiful Derbyshire country side with my golden retriever and sampling the local public houses.

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

My late grandfather, whom I miss very much. He was an amazing and generous man who allowed me the privilege of caring for him.



  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.