'I wanted to be boss'

The ability to decide what has to be done now and what can wait has served Royal Blackburn Hospital matron for medicine and the medical admissions unit Lesley Gaw well in the three decades that she’s been scaling the leadership ladder

The ability to decide what has to be done now and what can wait has served Royal Blackburn Hospital matron for medicine and the medical admissions unit Lesley Gaw well in the three decades that she’s been scaling the leadership ladder. But it could all have been so different, as Jennifer Trueland discovered when she met the innovative nurse manager.

Abstract

Lesley Gaw would be the first to admit that she fell into nursing. But after a career spanning more than three decades, she has no regrets.

From her first post in intensive care to her current role as matron for medicine and the medical admissions unit (MAU) at Royal Blackburn Hospital, run by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, she still finds the job an exciting challenge.

Yet it could all have been so different. ‘I didn’t want to be a nurse; am I allowed to say that?’ she laughs.

‘I thought I wanted to work in a bank. Then, when I left school, I had a horse, and enjoyed that for a while as a hobby. But then I thought I’d better get a proper job.’

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This article was first published in print in Nursing Management: volume 22, issue 6

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