My job

60 seconds with research associate and Queen's Nurse Ruth Butler

If you have an idea that could promote health and well-being, pursue it, even if it means working outside your comfort zone, says research associate and Queen's Nurse Ruth Butler.

If you have an idea which could promote health and well-being, pursue it, even if it means working outside your comfort zone, says research associate and Queen's Nurse Ruth Butler 


Ruth Butler won the child health award at the RCNi Nurse Awards 2016.

Ruth Butler qualified as a registered general nurse and registered sick children's nurse in the 1980s, working at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust. After seven years as a school nurse, then a paediatric community sister, she took a ten-year career break before returning to school nursing in 2009. Last year, she was crowned winner of the child health award at the RCNi Nurse Awards, and has been in her current role as research associate at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust since October 2016. 

What are your main work responsibilities?  
Recruiting participants to research studies and coordinating the different studies the trust is participating in. 

How did you get your job?  
It started as a secondment and I am now employed by the trust's research department. 

Who are your clients/patients?
It depends on what studies the trust is involved in. 

What do you love about your job? 
The diversity of my client group, and knowing that the research we are supporting will contribute to more effective care and treatments. 

What do you find most difficult? 
The complexity of juggling vastly different studies and changing priorities.

What is your top priority at work?
To keep study participants at the centre of everything we do and protect their best interests.

How have you developed your skills in this role? 
Through years of nursing practice, I have developed the skills fundamental to this role: good organisation, communication and accurate record-keeping. 

What has been your most formative career experience? 
Creating the teenage website www.healthmatters.clch.nhs.uk for which I won the RCNi child health award. This showed me that if you have an idea which could promote health and well-being, pursue it, even if it means working outside your comfort zone.

If you hadn’t become a nurse, what would you have done instead? 
I wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter as a child, so maybe a primary school teacher. 

What is the best lesson nursing has taught you? 
You can always make a positive difference to someone else's life. Don't underestimate the value of small ideas and acts of kindness.

What career advice would you give your younger self? 
Develop your skills so you can always deliver excellent care, and make choices that are right for your whole life, not just your career.

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