“I became a mother at a young age and many people were quick to write me off, but I don’t regret coming into nursing later in life.”
“I live by the mantra, life is short, but the world is wide. Starting a family young meant I had to delay my nurse training, but it also meant my parents were able to meet their grandchildren and walk me down the aisle. Now I’m studying for my Doctorate, my career hasn’t been negatively impacted.”
Yvonne was named RCN Nurse Leader of the Year in 2018 and is currently studying for a PhD exploring partnerships in practice in care homes at the University of the West of Scotland.
“I am incredibly grateful to my employer for supporting me through my nursing journey, funding my further education and allowing me to connect with other nurse leaders to improve care home nursing in Scotland.”
“There was a particular need for family support during the pandemic. Services in the community that people had come to depend on were forced to close their doors. It was important to me that the relevant support was still available to residents and their families.”
Yvonne’s entire career has been about collaboration and creating environments where people feel safe to be themselves. Along with her colleagues she set up regular sessions to discuss and improve the care that could be provided to residents.
“I was committed to learning from residents and their families and wanted to avoid the kind of formal language that can feel prohibitive. Instead of setting up committees I introduced engagement gatherings, safe spaces where families felt more comfortable to talk.”
“My inner critic was like a woodpecker constantly tap-tap-tapping on my brain, but the Queen’s Nurse programme has helped me to silence him. It’s important to me that my own headspace is protected so that I can help others find their voices, too.”
“My colleagues tell me I’m a changed person. I used to flood people with new ideas and innovations, but I now have a renewed focus on securing the existing strengths of the team. The programme has sparked my creative side”
Creating her own Why Board, a creative project that visually represents the things she’s passionate about, has helped Yvonne to focus on what matters.
“To anyone else it looks like a collage of books, trees and forget-me-nots, but to me every picture reminds me of my passions – dementia, strategic planning, networking and compassion. I look at it every day and it reminds me that I’m constantly growing as a professional and an individual.”