Privileged position as ward sister in an acute stroke unit

Claire Harris is ward sister in the acute stroke unit, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, Wales. She is responsible for leading a large team of 40 nurses who deliver stroke services to patients in the Gwent area. After taking part in a panel discussion on workforce development at the RCN Wales leadership summit in March, she spoke to Nick Lipley about her role

Claire Harris is ward sister in the acute stroke unit, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, Wales. She is responsible for leading a large team of 40 nurses who deliver stroke services to patients in the Gwent area. After taking part in a panel discussion on workforce development at the RCN Wales leadership summit in March, she spoke to Nick Lipley about her role.

Abstract

Why did you become a nurse?

No one in my family is a nurse, but since childhood I have wanted to join the caring profession. I enjoy helping people and love working with older people. I definitely think nursing is the vocation for me.

What might you have done otherwise?

Clichéd as it may sound, I always dreamed of being a nurse. Originally, I considered training to become a midwife, but I enjoyed nursing so much that I changed my mind.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Delivering patient care. I work with a dedicated, compassionate team of nurses who inspire me every day. It is a privilege to be a part of every patient and family’s life, and I enjoy developing and mentoring other nurses.

How and where have you developed your leadership skills?

The experiences I have had as a nurse and manager have helped me to develop my leadership style, while self-reflection has helped me to gain confidence from experiences. Good role models are vital and I am surrounded by excellent nurse leaders who I admire and learn from each day. I am also studying for a master’s degree in leadership and management at the University of South Wales, and the theory is underpinning my development.

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This article was first published in print under the original title 'A privileged position' in Nursing Management: volume 23, issue 2

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