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Nursing in Practice's 'Nurse of the Week'

Marilyn Eveleigh is head of clinical quality and risk and lead nurse for the Brighton and Hove City clinical commissioning group

What inspired you to become a nurse?

I came into nursing on a graduate scheme after studying sociology and social policy. At the time it was the start of a growing emphasis on prevention of ill health such as coronary heart disease by individual behaviour modification and government interventions.  Nursing offered an entry into public healthcare and health education - and a salary while you trained.

How do you start your day every morning?

With a cup of Earl Gray tea and a spritz of my favourite Jo Malone scent. Then I can face anything!

How do you relax and unwind after a day at work?

Spending time with my dog and three cats - walking or snuggled on the sofa. Then adding a good book completes my unwind.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

The variety and unpredictability - no day is the same in nursing.

What is the most challenging part of your day?

Making myself leave work - there is always so much more to be done.

Do you think the administration burden on nurses is excessive?

Yes it seems excessive but record keeping and  data collection is required by employers and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.  It becomes a greater burden when you do not have efficient IT systems, equipment and communication tools such as iPads and mobile phones.

Do you get enough face-to-face time with patients?  

No, regretfully, it is never enough - yet contact time with patients can teach us to be better nurses.

Do you think nursing is a more or less respected profession than it was in the past?

It is not so respected by the public as it once was - but nor are doctors and other clinicians.  Within the healthcare family, nursing holds considerable respect for clinical leadership and patient advocacy. Fewer young people choose nursing as a career - that sends a clear message about nursing status.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Retired from the mainstream NHS but still involved in nursing in some way: training or consultancy. I feel my experience would serve a governing board well - especially for safequarding, clinical quality and patient safety.

Are you surprised by how much you get done in a day?

I'm not surprised because all working mothers have a good track record for achieving and juggling. Other people tell me I pack a lot into the day.  I need to guard against feeling guilty when I have a lazy day!