Dawn Collins, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety
It is no surprise that NSFT’s most senior nurse welcomes Nurses Day as an opportunity to celebrate some of the exceptional work they do.
Dawn Collins, who became Interim Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety late last year, leads the Trust’s 1,188 registered nurses, 1,009 unregistered staff, 184 allied health professionals (AHPs) such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists, and 32 staff with a learning disabilities qualification.
Despite her enthusiasm for the annual 12 May celebration, Dawn, who has been a qualified nurse for more than 30 years, has one reservation.
“It’s important to always remember that nurses are just part of the team who look after patients, so it’s essential to appreciate and celebrate the massive contribution made by other health care professionals.
“In a nutshell, my role as Interim Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety is to be the voice and conscience of nurses, AHPs, patients, families and carers at the Trust’s Board of Directors.
“My job is to ensure that I work to develop a high quality safe culture and environment so that all my nurses and AHPs can practice to the best of their ability.
“As a nurse, it is both humbling and a privilege to care for people when they are at their lowest points in their lives. It is important for people when they are at their most vulnerable to know that a nurse will look after their fundamental needs and care for them in a safe place.
“Our nursing staff have what I call a ‘moral nursing compass’ which means they are totally committed to doing what is the right thing for their patients. Nurses see the whole patient and provide care that is holistic.
“I’m committed to taking a very patient-centred approach and I strive to be approachable and to listen, which means I spend much of my time travelling all over our two counties to stay in touch with patients and the staff on the frontline.”