My job

‘Never let anyone force you into lowering your values as a nurse’

Deputy director of nursing Paul Jebb on the importance of role modelling 

Deputy director of nursing Paul Jebb on the importance of role modelling 

What is your job?

I am on a nine-month secondment to Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust as deputy director of nursing to support their improvement journey.

What are your main responsibilities?

Focusing on risk, assurance and engagement and linking quality improvement and learning from feedback to ensure the trust embeds and sustains learning.

Why did you become a nurse?

My dad was in a road traffic accident 30 years ago, which opened my eyes to healthcare and the role of nurses in ensuring people get the care they need in the place they need it.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety. Every day being different and every day throwing a challenge at you to work through and solve.

How and where have you developed leadership skills?

I have developed these over many years and in many roles: from being a student and to my current role, developing leadership in formal classroom settings and shadowing, but also in the variety of roles in the NHS or in other organisations.

And how does your job make use of your skills?

Leadership skills are important in any role, but influencing others and role modelling are vital in my present role, in and outside the organisation.

What is the greatest challenge?

As with most NHS roles, the challenge is to get the right balance across all work streams while bearing in mind the demands that are on the health service.

What inspires you?

So many people. Those who have excelled in their career, as well as individuals who have overcome great challenges to reach specific goals.

What do you do in your free time?

Having three children doesn’t leave a lot of time, but I force myself to go to the gym. And I have been known to be found climbing big hills once or twice a year.

What achievement makes your most proud?

I never excelled at school so being the first in the family to go to university and then gaining a diploma, degree and master’s still make me proud.

Recently I received a Cavell Nurses’ Trust Star Award, which, as I was nominated by colleagues, made me proud of what I do and emphasised how we need to work together as teams and support each other more.

What makes a good nurse leader?

The important thing is visibility. Also, not forgetting where you have come from or why you started to be a nurse in the first place.

What advice would you like to pass onto students and junior staff?

Know and understand your values, and never let anyone force you into lowering them. Also be yourself. Being authentic is vital when working with people.

Paul Jebb is also a member of the RCNi editorial advisory board

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