Nicola Young, Children’s Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Richmond
I have worked in the NHS for 10 years, starting out in West Middlesex University Hospital paediatric A&E, the John Radcliffe Hospital paediatric A&E, and then in 2011 I started with Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust (HRCH).
After working in two busy paediatric A&E departments, I approached my manager and head of children’s services about starting a masters degree (MSc) to become a Children’s Advanced Nurse Practitioner (CANP). I undertook this alongside developing a new service to help alleviate the pressures of A&E and give children and their families a more appropriate setting to be seen in.
I completed my MSc two years ago and have since trained three more children’s nurses to their advanced level. The service, which started off as just myself, has now expanded to four CANPs, running five days a week 8am to 8pm. There’s been positive feedback from children/families, GP’s, staff, paediatricians and the whole wider team. This has reduced waiting times for children, reduced referral rates to hospital and educated parents on how to manage minor ailments at home when appropriate. I hope in the future the service can continue to expand to alleviate pressures from already overrun services.
I find my role very rewarding and absolutely love my job. I am grateful to work somewhere where you can voice your ideas and be listened to.
My most memorable moment was firstly qualifying as a paediatric nurse and then completing my MSc. However, a very proud moment was seeing my idea for this current service in working action and seeing its success, especially with such fantastic feedback from service users, as I am very passionate about it.