Merrill is not only a trained Queen’s Nurse, but was also a Trustee of the QNIS, and even a one-time Nurse Director of the QNIS, and this interview marks her out as a trailblazer. Working and training primarily in Edinburgh, this interview takes Merrill back through her formative years as a young nurse with an interest in bacteriology, through to becoming an innovative district nurse. She talks about how she broke boundaries throughout her career, including becoming the first Practice Nurse in Scotland, working in a multi-disciplinary practice team alongside another prominent QNIS figure, Dr. Ekke Kuenssberg, which led to a career in management.
Merrill explains how positively people considered Queen’s Nurses, no matter where they went and who they dealt with which is why she believes “there is something special about Queen’s”.
In 2016, journalist Pennie Taylor was commissioned to compile oral histories from our retired Queen’s Nurses. Interviews with nine Queen’s Nurses as part of the project “Voices of Experience” were filmed, and these videos provide an informative and colourful depiction of life as a community nurse across the latter half of the twentieth century. Each interviewee brings a unique perspective, creating a comprehensive look at the importance of Queen’s Nurses to Scotland’s communities. The interviews help to illustrate how training and practice have changed over the years, and are a fascinating piece of our history which we are delighted to be able to share with you.
We were delighted to have Pennie on board, and her journalistic experience and professionalism showed throughout the whole process, creating these nine immersive videos. Pennie said:
“It was a treat to get to know them all, and to share their memories of working lives spent helping others in cities, towns and villages the length and breadth of the land. Each has a unique experience and perspective, of course, but what struck me about them collectively was their ingenuity and bravery, coupled with a deep-rooted commitment to delivering the highest quality nursing care possible.”