We talk to Guy Collins a senior lecturer at the Unviersity of Derby who has been a nurse for 24 years
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
When I was 18 I didn’t want to go directly to university. Instead, I spent a year working with people who had learning disabilities. I found this rewarding and received positive feedback, so entering a nursing career was the natural progression.
Where did you train?
North Staffordshire College of Nursing (Keele University)
What was your first job in nursing?
I worked in a high dependency unit.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I’m too trusting at times. I try to see the good in people but unfortunately not everyone always shares or abides by the same principles.
From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?
There are many but one person in particular – Wynne Thomas inspired me to go into nurse education, being innovative and creative in his approach to teaching.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
Whatever it is you’re doing try to do, do the best that you can each day.
What keeps you awake at night?
Wondering what the ‘real’ future holds post Brexit.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Seeing people progress and becoming excellent nurses. Accolades and gratitude are nice but it’s more satisfying when you have made a small contribution in others who will make a difference.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Making the brave decision, when everyone around me asked what I was doing, to give up a well-paid job and follow an ambition to work overseas on St Helena Island. This has encouraged me to subsequently do more international work in healthcare.
What do you think is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
The shape and expectations of the registered nurse will continue to evolve particularly with new emerging roles such as associate nurses working alongside. Whether this is progress or not is up for another debate.
Which job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
Probably still in healthcare related role, either in emergency care or some form of humanitarian work.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
The smart answer would be the same one as now of course, but who knows what potential opportunities are around the corner for anyone. Ideally it would be related to developing international healthcare.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
Being genuine, demonstrating warmth, being a good listener and effective in your responses to others.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
Not to treat nursing students the same as any other university student. Nursing – and other healthcare students – make a valuable contribution, while still learning, to patient care and this should always be recognised and financially rewarded.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Spending quality time with the people who are most important to me.
If you could spend an hour with a famous or notable person, who would it be and why?
I’m not bothered by anyone famous, but I would like another hour with people in my family who are no longer here for some guidance at times.