Meet Jean – Nursing Staff Profile: IND 2023


Nursing Staff Profiles- IND 2023

This International Nurses Day we wanted to shine a spotlight on our Direct Medics staff who have worked as Nurses for many years. They have experienced first-hand the incredible work Nurses do and now provide support to nurses currently in the field.

Our Nursing Manager, Jean gives an excellent insight into the benefits of nursing and ideas on how to help support nurses in the future.

Jean Knapton, Nurse Manager

Why did you choose Nursing as a career path?

I studied a 2 year pre-nursing course at college. There were not many opportunities on offer for females to enter other areas of the work force in the 80s! I then moved to Belfast to start my nursing career which has been my life for 40 years!

I would have loved to be a professional ladies footballer but that was only a dream but look now the ladies have teams all over the world from many different cultures. 

What do you enjoy most about being a nurse?

  • Working within large teams. I gained experience at a young age what good team working can achieve
  • Being a part of the patient’s journey from illness to recovery
  • Being the patients advocate in identifying their needs, anxieties and fears
  • Being a role model to junior nurses as I enjoy facilitating new learning needs

What are the most challenging aspects of a Nursing role?

I have experienced many challenges in my nursing career over the years. I am positive that all problems can be solved by sharing them with the team.

What advice would you give to people thinking of choosing Nursing as a career?

I would be truthful that nursing is a very demanding role but has many happy rewards especially when you can safely deliver patient care.

Not every day is the same – Each day can present itself with different challenges and cause stress but the next day the patient who was very unwell and may not last the night has turned the corner, sitting up in the bed and smiling at you then you remember why you became a nurse!

This year’s International Nurses Day theme is “Our Nurses – Our Future”- What would you like to see for nurses in the future that would help address health challenges and improve health for all globally and nationally?

Increase educational opportunities to help nurses adapt to new technologies and new treatments. The opportunity to advance their practice in acute areas of intensive care, ED, trauma, paediatrics and mental health, to name a few.

There should be more opportunities to study population health and the changing demands to modern healthcare so patients are more informed of their pathways to recovery.

How did you transition from a nursing role to Nurse Manager?

My first manager’s role was in ED which after 5 years of the staff nurse role  and identifying courses to enhance my skills and experiences I was ready to progress into management. I understood what kind of leader I was to motivate and empower all members of the nursing team.

I enjoyed teaching which I moved into practice development supervising adaptation and return to practice nurses. I studied education courses to enhance my understanding of how people learn.

My next role was to manage a team to deliver H@N and bed flow for the hospital site. This role provided advanced nursing skills to care for patients out of hours with the aim of improving patient safety. Working together with the medical teams

My following leadership roles would include managing a team to deliver hospital at home, ward manager and managing a day procedure care unit.

Many years of being a clinical manager has identified what teams need to be successful, by understanding what existing knowledge/skills each member has

My current role as agency nurse manger was very challenging as I was really a virtual manager as all my previous managers roles was in the hospital environment with face to face communication.

I had to think of ways to communicate to the nurses to reassure them I did exist and always available to support them. I also work in the clinical area which this makes me more understanding on the agency nurses role which enhances my role as the agency nurse manager by being current and up to date on the challenges that agency nurses encounter.

Why do you think Nurses should choose to work with Direct Medics?

An agency must deliver in many ways to meet the needs of the nurses who want to join. Direct Medics are committed to reassuring Nurses that:

  • They will be listened to.
  • They will be matched to the correct role.
  • They will be supported by a registered nurse who can guide them through any complaints, training needs and know they can contact that registered nurse for advice and support.
  • They will have an efficient recruitment consultant who understands them and how they want to work and that their RC will do everything they can to secure regular work for them.
  • Their compliance officer will be efficient in getting them on boarded with all the training needs and fitness to practice requirements. 
  • They can contact the agency 24/7 for help and advice.
  • Their timesheets will be processed in time with no delays and they have access to the finance department to discuss any problems that may develop around payments. 

Thank you to Jean and all other Nurses for their constant hard work and dedication to care.

If you are interested in learning more about Nursing Opportunities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales or Republic of Ireland, please visit our jobs board or contact our Nursing team on 028 9059 0077.