60 seconds with professor of children’s nursing Alison Twycross
Don’t be afraid to push at doors to help you find the career pathway that’s right for you, says Alison Twycross.
Don’t be afraid to push at doors to help you find the career pathway that’s right for you, says Alison Twycross
Alison Twycross started her nursing career in 1981, working as a volunteer at a local hospice while doing her A levels. A registered adult, mental health and children’s nurse, she has worked in nurse education for 21 years and is professor of children’s nursing and head of department for children’s nursing at London South Bank University. Ms Twycross has edited three books bringing together research relating to managing pain in children, and is the editor of RCNi’s Evidence-Based Nursing journal.
What are your main work responsibilities?
Managing and leading the department of children’s nursing, maintaining relationships with stakeholders and improving the student experience.
Who are your clients/patients?
Students, hospitals and other organisations who provide clinical placements for our pre-registration students, and the organisations for whom we provide continuing professional development for their staff.
What do you love about your job?
I enjoy being able to speak up about issues in children’s nursing and appreciate the opportunities I get to speak at conferences in other parts of the world.
What do you find most difficult?
Ensuring we have enough placements for our pre-registration children’s nursing students, which has been a problem in all five universities I have worked at.
What is your top priority at work?
Maintaining and improving the student experience to ensure our new registrants, or those completing our CPD and master’s provision, have the skills to provide evidence-based care to children and their families.
How have you developed your skills in this role?
I have been on a Florence Nightingale Foundation/Council of Deans of Health Scholarship for Aspiring Deans, and have completed several courses to consolidate and develop my leadership skills. I am undertaking the Senior Executive Programme: Leading Strategy and Change run by Ashridge business school.
What will be your next career move?
I would like to be the dean of a healthcare faculty/school.
What is the best lesson nursing has taught you?
That to succeed we need to work as a team.
What career advice would you give your younger self?
When you come to a crossroads in your career, don’t be afraid to ‘push at doors’ and see which ones open. This will help you find the career pathway that suits you best.