Lead Research Nurse at the RIE Clinical Research Facility, Edinburgh.
How did you get interested in what you do? What advice was available to you when you chose this career direction?
I did a BSc (Hons) in Health studies at Queen Margaret University part time and really enjoyed the Research part of the course. Only advice was from the Professor of the ward I worked with. Research Nursing was not really very popular then
I trained as a Registered General Nurse, then did a Diploma in Nursing then a BSc (Hons) in Health studies (part-time at night-school) Before I specialised in Research Nurse nursing, I had worked as a General Nurse for 15 years. Most of my general nursing experience was in the acute admissions units and high dependency units in the RIE hospital
I am responsible for a Research ward in the RIE Hospital . It has 16 beds and a small laboratory space. I have 30 staff who work here . I am responsible for the care and safety of the patients and volunteers and responsible for the staff and their training. My day is varied as it is often busy.
I started nursing at 18. Before this I was going to be a PE teacher but changed my mind at the last minute
To do further training after school and do something I enjoyed and was worthwhile
You will never be rich or bored, and it is a really rewarding career
Nursing has a wide and varied remit. Getting your general training is just a start. There are so many areas to specialise in. e.g midwifery, mental health, paediatrics. The hours of work are varied and unsociable. You must always be updating your knowledge and lifelong learning goes along with nursing. It is a fantastic career