Biography

I began my nursing career in 1987, following my parents and a grandparent in training as a Learning Disability nurse.  After qualifying I worked on a unit within the NHS providing respite care for children with moderate to profound learning disabilities.  I also worked as a community learning disability nurse, supporting families and carers of children and adults with learning disabilities.

After nine years in LD nursing, I completed the modified branch in mental health nursing and on qualifying I spent several years working with people with dementia in the NHS.  I worked in both inpatient settings and in a day hospital.  Whilst working in the day hospital I worked on the introduction of day provision for people (aged over 65) who have functional mental illnesses, this formed part of my studies on the 'work based learning' module, and was successfully implemented, eventually increasing to a two day per week provision.  During my time in this area, I completed my nursing degree, and my dissertation focussed on the ways in which the day hospital supported (or could improve upon support for) the identified coping strategies of family carers of people with dementia.

I also spent some time working in a regional secure unit, providing care for people who require mental health nursing care in a secure setting.

Prior to joining the teaching staff at the UEA in 2007, I spent two years as a care co-ordinator in a Community Mental HealthTteam, supporting working age adults with severe and enduring emntal health problems.   During my time with this team,  I developed a particular interest in working with people with a diagnosis of 'borderline personality disorder'. 

I have always had an interest in nurse education, and during my time in practice I was an active mentor for student nurses, and worked with a range of students including those studying mental health, adult and learning disability fields, return to practice nurses, enrolled nurse conversion students and those on the modified branch programme in mental health.

During my time at the UEA I have led modules for both pre registration and post registration nurses.  I have been a plagiarism officer and an admissions officer for the BSc MH in Nursing.  I am currently the Course director for the BSc in Mental Health nursing.

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