2020 has been designated the ‘Year of the Nurse and the Midwife’ by the World Health Organisation. Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services, and this year-long global celebration will recognise and highlight the incredible work undertaken by those working in the profession.
In the first of our series of blogs showcasing the exceptional nursing professionals working within our own organisation, Professor Jacqui Reilly, Director of Nursing at NSS, tells us about what led her into nursing and where her career has taken her.
"I wanted to be a nurse from an early age and knew it was the profession for me through my school years. I went to university and did a BA (Hons) Nursing Studies in 1988. My class were actually the first honours degree graduates in the field at Glasgow Polytechnic (now Glasgow Caledonian University). In 1992 graduated as a registered nurse and then graduated as a nurse teacher and lecturer/ practice educator in 2005.
"Nursing is a brilliant professional career with so many unique and varied opportunities. You can really make a difference and improve care for people.
"Throughout my career I’ve worked in a range of settings, from intensive care units to community, specialist nursing and public health. Now, I work as a professor at Glasgow Caledonian University GCU), and remain jointly appointed between the NHS and academia.
"In NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) I lead, develop and implement the strategic direction for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals services, working closely and collaborating with stakeholders such as health boards, the Scottish Government and the third sector. I am responsible for professional leadership for clinical staff and lead on quality improvement, healthcare associated infection and whistle blowing. I help to ensure the delivery of NSS clinical services, as well as the efforts aimed at supporting and improving the Scottish population’s health and wellbeing, ensuring we provide safe, effective, person centred care, across health and care services.
"NSS has a particularly broad range of opportunities for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, from frontline delivery of clinical services in the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service to fantastic national leadership opportunities in roles such as commissioning of national specialist services and national procurement. These roles help to improve and protect patient care and staff wellbeing, in addition to improving health and social care services. NSS is also a great place to work, with lots of great career and development opportunities."