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Neonatal nursing

Kelly Harvey

Name: Kelly Harvey

Job title: Quality Improvement Lead Nurse (North West Neonatal Operational Delivery Network)

Speciality: Neonatal nursing

Organisation: North West Neonatal Operational Delivery Network, Alder Hey Foundation Trust

What is your current role?

I currently work for the North West Neonatal Operational Delivery Network (NWNODN) as a quality improvement lead nurse. This involves engaging with all stakeholders within neonatal services in particular nursing and medical colleagues from the 21 neonatal units within the NW. I am involved in quality improvement projects to support the delivery of quality care to all neonates within the NW.

What was your route to this role?

I qualified as a paediatric nurse and immediately started within the neonatal setting. I worked as a band 5 and band 6 staff nurse before taking an opportunity to work as a band 6 educator for the regional neonatal induction programme. My next step was as band 7 educator back on a neonatal unit before spending some time as acting manager as a job share. From this I decided neonatal unit management was not for me and so I went back to being a clinical educator. My next step was to complete my ANNP training and I worked on the tier one medical rota within this job role. As an ANNP I sought opportunities to continue some education and was able to secure secondments to work at two universities as lecturer practitioner supporting the QIS, ANNP and midwifery courses. All of these experiences led me to understand my passion was improving the quality of care for neonates but i wanted a different direction away from the clinical facing, rota based working of the ANNP and so my current job offers that.

What prompted you to do this role?

The desire to continue to support quality neonatal care but to see how a more strategic influence could effect real change.

What education/courses/modules have you undertaken to equip you for the role?

Courses obtained include: QIS, Mentorship, Enhanced Neonatal Nursing, ANNP training (Msc).

How do you see yourself developing your skills?

I aim to continue to support clinical colleagues in understanding national drivers for neonatal care and implement quality improvements in the neonatal field for the benefit of neonates, their families and the staff groups caring for them.

What is your long-term career plan?

I have achieved more than what I set out to within my career plan but have just taken opportunities as they have arisen and shall continue to do so.

What advice would you give someone thinking about moving to work in your area of practice?

Neonates is a fantastic specialism to become as part of, particularly in the North West. We have excellent support for new starters with the neonatal induction program and a variety of neonatal services with opportunities to experience different levels of neonatal care. The area of neonatal nursing is unlike most other area's as the care is truly of the entire family unit and your influence in the early days of a new family can have huge long term impact. You can be the key to a successful outcome for a family where huge challenges have to be overcome in the first hours and days of life. It is a unique and extremely rewarding area to work.

What do you most enjoy about this area of care?

I love neonatal nursing and whilst i have now moved away from the clinical side of nursing I still do at least one or two bank shifts a month as a band 5 staff nurse on the neonatal unit. These shifts continue to give me huge satisfaction and passion for this area of nursing and i feel it is a privilege to be a part of the start of a persons life and support the establishment of a family and the physical needs of the sickest and most vulnerable population within a hospital setting.

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Children and young people: career stories and case studies