I am a retired nurse, still heavily involved in nursing, especially through nursing organisations and other charities. I am very new to the idea of a personal website, but I am starting this one because I want to stimulate discussion about what is happening in the nursing world, and especially in one of the organisations to which I belong – Sigma Theta Tau International.
I have had a long and very rewarding nursing career since I began as a student nurse at University College Hospital, London in 1962, following a degree in classics at University College London. After qualifying as a nurse, I went into health visiting, and worked in the NHS for 25 years first as a health visitor then a manager of community nursing services, finally as Chief Nurse to Harrow Health Authority. During this time I married Roger (still married after 45 years!), brought up two children, and kept up my academic studies part-time (I got my M,Phil at Reading University in 1972, and my PhD at South Bank in 1985). Then in 1990 – “pushed” by the Thatcher reforms of the NHS and “pulled” by the move of nursing education into universities, I left the NHS and went into higher education to start a new School of Nursing at Middlesex University. In 1997 I “came home to Wales” as the first professor of nursing at Swansea University, and there I have stayed, now as professor emeritus.
Throughout all this time –nearly 50 years – I have been active in nursing organisations and deeply involved in nursing and health politics at local, national and international level. I was a RCN activist for more than 40 years, including serving as President 1990 – 1994. I worked with the International Council of Nurses and WHO on re-developing nursing in Romania and Kazakhstan after the fall of the Soviet Union, and I still teach in Slovenia each spring. I have also served on national commissions especially to do with services for older people – I was a member of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care, and in Wales a member of the Bevan Commission. I am currently a member of Swansea University Council, a trustee of AgeCymru and of Gwalia Care and support.
I became involved in Sigma Theta Tau International about ten years ago, and with a few colleagues, helped to start a Chapter in Wales – the first in the UK and only the third in Europe. STTI’s mission is about developing nursing knowledge, scholarship, and leadership – goals that I very strongly support. It is an American organisation which claims to want to become “intentionally global” but is not very sensitive to the cultural differences this involves and is not keen on adapting its USA “w