Medical Day Case Unit Manager Nikki Simpson shares her passion for what she does on International Nurses Day
My name’s Niki and I’m the manager of the Medical Day Case Units at North Tyneside and Wansbeck hospitals. I’ve been a nurse since 2004 and have worked my entire career at Northumbria. Since qualifying I’ve worked in a number of different areas within the trust!
I started my career in Elderly Medicine where I worked for 18 months. In my opinion this was an excellent place to start my nursing career as I was exposed to lots of different medical conditions as well as gaining an excellent understanding of the social requirements and processes. It gave me the opportunity to practice truly holistic care and I believe it gave me an excellent grounding. From there I moved to Cardiology where I worked for 10 years, gaining my Band 6 during my time there. I loved absolutely everything about Cardiology! I found it such an interesting and diverse speciality and I enjoyed learning about various arrythmias and their treatments as well as dealing with our long-term Heart Failure patients.
In January 2019 I made the leap to work for the Corporate side of the trust as a Practice Development Nurse. This was a brand-new role in a completely new team and our aim was ‘to drive positive change throughout the organisation by facilitating continuous improvement in patient centred care’. We were incredibly enthusiastic as a team and our determination to deliver what we had set out to do was unfortunately halted due to the Covid-19 situation which unfolded a mere 12 weeks into my new role. This meant that I spent the following 2 years almost constantly redeployed throughout the trust. I worked on Respiratory, Cardiology, Orthopaedics, Gastroenterology and Elderly Care. At the time this was quite an unsettling, anxiety provoking experience as no one like to be uprooted from their comfort zone however, on reflection, this was actually an amazing opportunity for me as I was able to experience different areas or nursing in a very ‘hands-on’ way. As a Band 6 on a ward I was quite often dealing with staffing and managerial issues and whilst working in these different areas I got to be a ‘proper nurse’ all over again which I absolutely love ?
I left Practice Development in February 2022 in order to tackle my next challenge which is my current role of unit manager. I am really enjoying learning more about the managerial ways of working and I still am very much clinical so I get a lot of patient contact. I also work occasional shifts on the nurse bank, mostly on Cardiology as I still really enjoy the speciality. I love being a nurse. It’s such a varied job and the only profession I can think of that has extreme highs and lows. It’s so demanding, all-consuming and both physically and mentally demanding but the rewards are endless. Knowing that you have made a difference to someone, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem, is the absolute best feeling in the world and I wouldn’t want to do anything else as a career.