By Maggie Hampson, staff nurse and alumnus of Edinburgh Napier University’s Adult Nursing Programme. 

Maggie Hampson graduated in 2018 and currently works as a staff nurse in St. John’s Hospital, Livingston. In this blog Maggie shares her thoughts on leadership and how leading by example lead her to winning the Simon Pullin Award. Maggie reflects on the challenges nurses face on a daily basis and how nurses can lead by example to enable the best outcomes. 

The World Health Organisation declared the year 2020 as ‘Year of the Nurse’ which seems more fitting now than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown globally that people are understanding the work of the nurse. Nurses are the front and centre of our healthcare system and often put themselves at personal risk to provide care. 

Patient numbers are continuously increasing and so is the pressure within health and social care organisations, especially during this current crisis. Nurses are required to lead, whether this be to manage teams, patient care, implement areas of improvement or make adjustments to achieve better patient outcomes.  

Maggie was the 2018 recipient of the Simon Pullin award for nursing.

Effective nurse leadership is seen in optimal patient care outcomes and work place ethics. There are many forms of leadership, depending on the work place different styles are used to achieve the best outcomes. 

Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that’s motive is to inspire and motivate others. While I was a student nurse I found myself leading through ‘transformational leadership’ as I found inspiring those around me aided in growth, success and inspiration. 

As a student nurse on placement I found myself in various healthcare settings and often my supernumerary status was taken away due to shortage of front line staff. It had many benefits, from understanding the importance of prioritising care, decision making and building relationships with patients, families and across the multi disciplinary team. However, there was many difficult and challenging situations which often led to a world wind of emotions.  

I began writing poetry, reflecting on different aspects of my day or week which was a great coping mechanism during my time at Edinburgh Napier University. My work lead me to winning the Simon Pullin Award at my graduation ceremony at Usher Hall in November, 2018. This is one of my proudest achievements to this day. 

I now work as a nurse in the Wallace Burns Unit, St. John’s Hospital, Livingston where I continue to use the transformational style of leadership throughout various aspects of my day. The concept is to inspire those I work closely with from staff, nursing students to the patients I care for. 

A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example. Which brings us back to the woman who shaped nursing, Florence Nightingale.  

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