GPN SNN Lead
Sarah O’Donnell studied at the university of Bradford, qualifying in 2014 as a registered Adult Nurse. During her time as a student nurse she was also a student representative, school representative and university senator. In her final year she was awarded university representative of the year, Sarah was also a finalist for the Nursing Times Awards.
Whilst studying Sarah also became a Care Maker, under the Chief Nursing Officer’s 6 C’s scheme, promoting the 6 C’s in practice, speaking at events around the UK and direct to student nurses.
In her final year she created and held a conference titled Learning Disability Action Aware (LDAA). The conference taught 400 adult student nurses the skills of how to support LD patients through the healthcare system.
Sarah completed her sign off placement in general practice, the passion for becoming a GPN (general practice nurse) was here developed. Post-qualifying Sarah studied a 6-month intense course in advanced nursing practice. Then went on to employment as a GPN where she has worked since.
Throughout the last 4 ½ years Sarah has championed and mentored people in general practice, and became a Senior Lead GPN within the second year of qualifying.
Currently Sarah works in practice and also leads the GPN Student Nurse Network (GPNSNN) an idea that came through her own experience and through seeing lack of support and encouragement into the GPN career pathway. The GPNSNN was made possible through NHS England backing and links in with the GPN 10 point plan. Follow her on Twitter @sarah_searz
Hi, I am Chioma Nwafor and I am a student nurse at the University of Chester. I am currently in my second year and I have an interest in promoting and advocating for individuals to take ownership of their health. I am an active supporter of establishing achievable preventive measures, I find the phrase “if it is not broken there’s no need to fix”, very apt. However, I know that nature and life will have its impact on everyone, and this has influenced my decision to become a GPN SNN Ambassador as step towards encouraging more nursing staff into Primary Care. This way we can help people minimize, and if possibly slow down the impact nature and life has on our health, through timely health promotion, checks and interventions.
My name is Christy, I am a newly qualified adult nurse graduating from Teesside University. I am now a Career Start Practice Nurse, employed by North Durham CCG. I have a beautiful son who I aspire to work hard for. In just my first year of studying I was nominated as student of the year and was fortunate enough to attend the Shining Stars Awards as a top four nominee. I want to be the people’s voice and a role model to others, like many of my mentors were to me, fulfilling my career goals and ambitions and being the best that I can be. I’d love to make a difference and get involved in the future of the NHS and be able to make more information available to students and universities to recommend primary care as a rewarding career. Why not promote the care I went into nursing to do. I am a friendly, bubbly people person and I would love help others. My weakness is French Bulldogs, I love dogs 💗 Follow me on Twitter @christyegan09
Hi, my name is Poppy Hannah and I’m a second year Student Nurse (Adult) at Northumbria University. I’ve loved every minute of my course so far and been fortunate enough to have a range of practice placements, but General Practice has always been a favourite of mine. You just never know what will walk through the door!
I think General Practice is an interesting, diverse and rewarding career path, and I really love promoting a healthy lifestyle and making a real difference. I already have a role as a University Student Rep for the Students Union and am looking forward to representing General Practice in the student community too. I can’t wait to get started! Follow me on Twitter @Poppy_GPNSNN
Hello, my name is Wendy Hoban. I am a Year 3 Adult Nursing Student at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster. I am coming into the final phase of my four-year journey to become a Registered Nurse. As a mature student I have found the course challenging and exciting. I have been very lucky in the placements I have been allocated and have had placements in General Practice in both my first and third years. My experience in general practice has been such an eye opener, I have just started to take some of my own clinics in my current placement and work autonomously which is an amazing feeling.
General Practice allows the building of therapeutic relationships and I really feel that patients benefit from continuity of treatment and person-centred care. I have a wonderful, skilled mentor who is working on a project to build better care for cancer patients in the area, she has inspired me to look at how community services, hospitals and General Practice can work together to enhance care for patients.
I am an NHS Student Quality Ambassador and also a Dignity Champion. My latest appointment as a General Practice Nursing Student Nurse Network Ambassador is exciting and a fresh challenge. Fun Fact – I can be found supporting Wigan Rugby League club whenever my schedule allows. Follow me on Twitter @WendyHoban74
Midlands & East
My name is Amanda Cecil, I graduated from Coventry University in Autumn 2018 and went straight into the world of practice nursing. As a healthcare assistant in General Practice for many years I was extremely lucky to be seconded to do my training. As a mature student with a family my degree was challenging but nothing came close to the bereavement I suffered in my second year when I doubted if I would be able to continue. With incredible support and knowing what was waiting for me at the end I found strength to keep going. I was overwhelmed to receive a First Class Honours degree and the Faculty Award for Excellence and Dedication to Primary Care, even my dissertation was practice nursing related! I love my new role so much, the variation, the relationships you build with your patients and knowing you are really making a difference. I feel extremely privileged to be a practice nurse and no two days are the same. My passions seem to vary day to day but I love wound care, travel health and contraception. It really is nursing through the lifespan. I am proud to be an Ambassador and advocate for practice nursing and tell the world what a wonderful career it really is. Follow me on Twitter @AmandaCecil76
Hi, I’m Cassie Smith and I am a third-year adult nursing student in beautiful Suffolk. I am extremely passionate about General practice nursing, having had many ward placements where I felt out of place in all and fell a little bit out of love with nursing. At the start of my third year I was lucky enough to have an eight-week placement in General Practice, where I wholeheartedly fell in love! Amazingly my placement Practice offered me a practice nurse position for when I qualify in July, and I cannot wait to get started. I am passionate about promoting General Practice Nursing and want to show others that it is a varied, challenging and worthwhile career path with lots of scope for progression and opportunities! I am extremely proud to be a GPN Student Nurse Ambassador and a future Practice Nurse! Follow me on Twitter @CassieSNGPN
Hello, my name is Claire Carmichael and I am coming to the end of my second year as an adult nursing student at Birmingham City University. I have been on various placements out on the hospital wards, but all I really wanted was a general practice placement. General practice was my first choice when the university asked me for my preference list and luckily, I got it! I had always wanted to experience this setting as I had an idea that it would be a fabulous career path. In March 2018 until May 2018 I was based at the most wonderful practice with the most fantastic practice nurse who became such an inspiration and role model to me. She showed me what it was to truly nurse, she had the 6 C’s embedded into her heart each day when caring for the patients. This is when I fell in love with general practice nursing and knew it was the career path for me and now, I am proud to be a GPN ambassador. Fun Fact about me: The only instrument I can play is the spoons…Follow me on Twitter @c_carmichael83
I am Jen, a GPN one year into practice nursing and also one year post graduate. I am just about to finish my fundamentals of practice nurse training at Wolverhampton. I am a very fortunate, mature GPN. I think it is so important to advocate how difficult it was for me to get in practice nursing, this network is an amazing way to do so, to help those who do not know about practice nursing love it as much as I do and hopefully make it easier to enter. GPNSNN (2018) is the future image of change for new practice nurses. This group will offer intrinsic value to the future of GPNs. Follow me on Twitter @GPNJen
Hi, my name is Katie and I’m a mature second-year student nurse studying at Birmingham City University. I am also a mum to a fabulous and fierce little 5 year old, Peggy.
I was delighted to be granted my first choice of a GPN placement at university. There is so much to offer patients in primary care, particularly in terms of promoting health, preventing illness and giving holistic care. I also hope to dispel some of the myths surrounding GPN in that it is somehow a ’cushy’ role for a NQN or that we become ’de-skilled’. I feel that every skill I possess (especially clinical!) has improved dramatically, even in my short 8-week placement in the community.
My heart lies in GPN and I cannot wait to return for my management placement in the third year, continuing to spread the word and advocate on the wonderful opportunities in GPN in the meantime as a proud GPN Ambassador! Fun fact, I’m the shortest person I know standing in at a mighty 4ft10”! This often leads people to believe I’m a lot younger than I actually am! Life motto: Feel the fear and do it anyway!
My name is Lisa Blake and I will be entering year three of the nursing degree very soon!! I have a slightly unusual journey in that I am completing my degree through the Open University.
After working in my GP Practice for 13 years and gaining my Assistant Practitioner qualification at Derby University my forward-thinking employers agreed to sponsor me through my nursing degree. They were aware of the national shortage of practice nurses as well as the difficulty in recruiting GPN’s, so this seemed the perfect solution for both sides.
Gaining my degree in this way allows me to have significant time on placement in the Practice gaining in-depth experience of practice nursing through working alongside experienced and knowledgeable practice nurses. This has confirmed my passion for such a fantastic and rewarding nursing career. I am enthusiastic about Health Promotion and feel that practice nursing gives you the platform to deliver this. I am excited about being a GPN ambassador and I look forward to challenging some misconceptions around practice nursing. Follow me on Twitter @Lisablakeyblake
Hello, my name is Shaun and I am a mature student at Keele University, currently in my second year of nursing studies. My story is slightly unconventional as I never set out to be a nurse. I initially left school with no qualifications and after a number of years stumbled into working in the social care sector. The desire to support people in a humane and person-centred way gave me the motivation to address my education. In 2017 I applied on the off-chance to study adult nursing; I was then unorthodox as I actually settled on learning disability nursing as I feel strongly about the management of everyday healthcare needs in a highly personalised manner; especially for those within society who experience the greatest amount of inequality. I have such a passion for general practice nursing as it is foremost and centre in creating equitable healthcare for all. The changing landscape of service provision also means that learning disability nursing practice is ideal to provide solutions needed to meet the health needs of the general population [especially the creative management of long-term conditions in community settings]. I am one of the 2019 Council of Deans #150 Leaders [healthcare students]. Also, I am not entirely unique as I have an identical twin.
My story began virtually by accident. One minute I was providing child labour next minute I had moved on from licking envelopes to taking people’s blood! Then I was an HCA, studying to be an AP, but really was going to jump into the Adult Nursing degree. Just when I thought that was it, my graduation became an induction for the Master degree in Advanced Clinical Practice and I had committed myself to another 3 years! I am fortunate to be part of a great NHS that values nursing in the 21st century that embraces the diversity of this changing landscape. My motivation is a deep and genuine interest in this caring profession that offers exciting opportunities to increase and develop new areas of knowledge and understanding. I see this as essential to both my academic and career development which is now particularly important as I mentor both student nurses and TNAs. Being part of the GPN Student Nurse Network as an ambassador is a true privilege! I am extremely passionate about nursing in General Practice and am keen to promote this as a career choice for all newly qualified nurses. Also I would love to give the ‘right person’ that same ‘chance’ that I was given! Follow me on Twitter @Skylar_xox
My name is Fatima and I’m in my final year as an adult student nurse at the University of Greenwich. I’m a diligent, committed and caring person. My interest in Practice nursing started in my second year in my district nursing placement, where I had the chance to spend a day with one of the Practice nurses in the GP. I was extremely happy to have been given my first choice of Practice nursing as my management placement. And very fortunate have one of the best Advanced Nurse Practitioners as my mentor. As a GPN SNN Ambassador, I hope to inspire other students and nurses as to why Practice nursing is the best career choice. Follow me on Twitter @sharifeefatima
Hi, I’m Dawne, a second year Adult Student Nurse at the University of Plymouth. I am mature student keen to make my studies as rich and diverse as possible seizing relevant value-added opportunities. Whilst completing my Access to Nursing course I was very fortunate to shadow a Practice Nurse and fell in love with the role instantly. Since then I’ve known my heart sits firmly in Primary Care. In March 2018 I became one of the Council of Deans of Health #150Leaders, a Student Leadership Programme designed to promote and develop leadership skills amongst nursing midwifery and AHP students. This led me to work with NHS England shortly after the launch of their e-learning tool ‘Leading Change, Adding Value’ by co-hosting a tweetchat to disseminate the framework amongst my peers. Since then I was shortlisted for two awards by the Council of Deans for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Shared Learning’ and ‘Top #150Leaders Nurse’.
It is with this footing I hope to develop myself as a GPN SNN Ambassador and wholeheartedly promote Primary Care and particularly General Practice Nursing as a career for Newly Qualified Nurses. Follow me on Twitter @PUNC17DawneJ
Hi, I’m Kate and I’m a second-year adult nursing student at the University of Gloucestershire. So far, I have mostly had hospital-based placements around Gloucestershire, but in June last year I organised a week of work experience with a practice nurse in the Forest of Dean, which was fantastic. This experience confirmed my interest in a career in General Practice Nursing, and I will be putting forward practice nursing as my preferred placement choice in my final year. I have become a GPN Student Nurse Ambassador, to meet likeminded people who are passionate about Primary Care and to help other students and newly qualified nurses find their way into General Practice. Follow me on Twitter @KateMcCrum