Name: Jackie O'Connell
Job title: Matron Children's Community Nursing Team
Speciality: Children’s nursing
Organisation: North Middlesex Hospital
What is your current role?
I am Matron for the Children's Community Nursing team and my team consists of specialist nurses and generic nurses.
What was your route to this role?
I started my adult nurse training in 1984 and worked in various areas which included Gynae A/E ITU. I worked in a holiday centre in Jersey as the resident nurse.
What prompted you to do this role?
I always wanted to be a children's nurse and loved my placement during my nurse training. I applied for a job on the children's ward at Whittington in 1990 and worked there for eight years and was fortunate enough to undertake and pass my children's nurse training..
What education/courses/modules have you undertaken to equip you for the role?
I have a degree and I have also completed a paediatric cancer course.
How do you see yourself developing your skills?
I can support and develop my team. I can deliver a high standard of nursing care to my patients. I have managerial skills and have learnt over the years how to communicate with staff effectively.
What is your long-term career plan?
To continue to grow and develop my team.
What advice would you give someone thinking about moving to work in your area of practice?
Community nursing is so rewarding. It is a privilege to go into a patients home and deliver nursing care.
Making your own clinical decisions and acting as an independent practitioner.
What do you most enjoy about this area of care?
Looking after children in their own homes. Children are able to relax and care can be delivered at the child's pace.
Growing a team of generic and specialist nurses has been so rewarding.