Nick has worked as a journalist specialising in the field of healthcare for more than 20 years. He joined what is now RCNi in 1998, as a member of the news team for Nursing Standard. He became editor of Mental Health Practice journal in 2018. Nick is also editor of Nursing Management.
Ian started his state registered nurse training, he says, ‘as a callow youth of 18’, leaving home after a summer break of five days and entered the June 1976 intake at the University Hospital of Wales. He married in his third year to the disapproval of his tutors and then commenced his career as a staff nurse in a medical ward of a local hospital.
Like most men of his generation, he went on to become a registered mental health nurse. Upon returning to general nursing, he found he missed the work, pace and relationship focus of mental health nursing, so returned to it. Promotion was rapid at that time in psychiatric services, he says, and he was made a nursing officer by the time he was 27. However, he found the role unsatisfactory and entered the world of education ‘at a time of small intakes and teaching under the trees in the hospital grounds’, where he stayed until in 2004 he became the RCN professional lead for mental health.
Ian has enjoyed many opportunities in his career, training as a counsellor and on the influential Thorn programme set up at the then Institute of Psychiatry to increase skills in the case management of complex cases. He has taught nurses at various levels of education and experience. At the RCN, he says he met many excellent and courageous nurses, travelled far and wide and worked ‘in an unseen world of influence, policy and lobbying’. Ian is currently an independent mental health nurse. He recently studied mindfulness at Bangor University for two years and in many ways has returned to his initial ambition as an 18 year old, namely ‘to help people make a positive difference in their lives’.
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