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My name is Juliet Bostwick and since 2005 I have been the Programme Lead for Nursing at Oxford Brooke’s University. I qualified as a Nurse in 1980, having completed my training at The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Exeter, Devon.
After working for 2 years in the Trauma unit in Exeter, I then moved to Switzerland and had 3 exciting years working in a local hospital in Nyon, a small town on the shores of Lake Geneva. I would certainly advocate the merits of nursing overseas to gain experience of caring for people from different cultures, as well as learning another language! I frequently confused the words for bedpan & flower vase (le vase or la vase) - with very amusing consequences!
In 1986 I returned to the UK and undertook a specialist Neuroscience Nursing course at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. From then, my career progressed within neurosciences and I eventually became the Senior Nurse in charge of the Neuroscience unit in Cambridge. It was during my time here that I also decided to undertake a Master’s degree in Health Sciences at Birmingham University. I am currently studying for a professional doctorate in education, for completion in 2017.
Nursing people diagnosed with serious neurological disorders has always been my passion. I relished the challenge of caring for and supporting patients and their families at some of the worst times of their lives, for example following serious head injury or cerebral haemorrhage, as well as providing care for people with chronic neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis. It was humbling to see the courage of patients and their families when faced with difficult decisions about their care and treatment.
Over a period of 15 years in neuroscience nursing I also had the privilege of witnessing the development of cutting edge treatments for certain neurological conditions, for example the treatment of cerebral aneurysms.
In my current role as Programme Lead I am responsible for the education of over 400 pre-registration nursing students and the management of a team of about 30 academic staff. In 2015 I was part of the team who won the Oxford Brooke’s People Award for Confidence. I strongly believe in the power of education to change people’s views and opinions and enjoy supporting nursing students to go on that journey of development and discovery and the opportunity to shape the future nursing workforce. It has been an honour and a privilege to be part of the nursing profession, a career choice which I have never regretted.
I joined Oxford Polytechnic as a Lecturer Practitioner in 1991. This was an exciting time for nursing in Oxford, with a strong vision from leaders in practice and education for a practice led nursing degree course taught by expert practitioners who were also researchers, managers and teachers. The Lecturer Practitioner role was truly integrated so that I could be teaching a student in the classroom one day and working alongside them caring for children having surgery the following day.
As part of my clinical role I was the specialist nurse for children with cleft lip and palate and became interested in how nurses could support families with the psychological impact of this condition.This led me to undertake training in family therapy.
In 2001 I moved to working as a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes. This gave me the opportunity to develop a short course, ‘the psychosocial care of children, adolescents and their families’, which aimed to enable practitioners to better understand family dynamics and the emotional needs of children and to work therapeutically with them.Subsequently I spent a year as a postgraduate student at Oxford Brookes, training to become a health visitor. Being a health visitor has enabled me to, once again, to learn from my own practice and use that learning to inform my teaching.
I believe that the essence of nursing lies in the relationship that the nurse develops with her clients. For me, learning from clients about their experience is key to being an effective educator.
I started my RGN in 1989 at the Royal Berkshire School of Nursing and Midwifery, and was part of the last apprenticeship cohort before Project 2000 was introduced.
I came to Oxford post registration to work in the neuroscience unit and undertook all of my post registration courses at Oxford Brookes University, whilst working part time and having a family. However, each time I completed a course the skills and knowledge I had developed enabled me to apply for a promotion.
I completed the post experience courses in neuroscience and mentorship and was appointed into a practice education post on the neuroscience unit in Oxford. I have always valued knowledge and seek to constantly improve and this led me to continue to study then gaining a degree in critical care nursing. This then also opened doors to where I wanted to go into education. I was appointed to the post of lecturer in clinical skills at Oxford Brookes University in 1993 and soon after started my Masters in Higher Professional Education. On completion my role was changed to a Faculty wide role where I now lead on clinical skills and simulation based education for all health care programmes in the Faculty. I am also executive member of Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare (ASPiH) and leading on nursing and medical joint simulation.
I am now pursuing a career in health related research with research around collaborative practice and how it impacts on patient safety, with my PhD looking at ward rounds in Adult Critical Care Unit (ACCU) in order to improve patient safety and efficient use of staff time.
Who would have thought commencing my neuroscience course as a part time staff nurse and mum of two children would have led to this? It has shown me that by determination and hard work you can achieve your goals and improve patient care and nurse education.
I completed my nurse training in 1993 at Charing Cross Hospital in London. This left me with very fond memories, not least because this is where I met my wife! It also exposed me to a range of diverse cultural experiences which have proved invaluable over the course of my nursing career.
My first post was at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford within the Neurosurgical Unit which proved exciting, challenging and very rewarding, being at the forefront of major advances in neurosurgical procedures and interventions around subarachnoid haemorrhage, embolisations and epilepsy. I then took up a post in gastrointestinal surgery where my interest in inflammatory bowel disease developed. I was then seconded to a teaching post at Oxford Brookes University which translated into a lecturer and then senior lecturer post.
During the early part of my teaching career I completed an MSc in Higher Professional Education and alongside this I have been heavily involved in the development of a series of Clinical Pocket Reference books for Nurses and we are about to publish our third edition this year. Most of my teaching interests at Brookes have revolved around clinical physiology and pathophysiology.
I feel very privileged to have carried out all of my clinical nursing in Oxford. I ws particularly inspired by the Primary Nursing Model pioneered in Oxford which helped me develop the strong sense of patient-centred care and the importance of the therapeutic relationship as a basis for high quality care. Many of the values and beliefs I developed during my early years of clinical practice remain with me today and still guide me in my professional role.
At Brookes I have enjoyed a great spirit of camaraderie. What I value most as a senior lecturer is having the freedom to be innovative, for example incorporating technological advances into teaching as a means to enhance the learner experience.
I am the Leader of the Post Graduate Course Team in Nursing. I feel that the knowledge and expertise of nursing is essential to ensure optimal patient care and outcomes and develop evidence based provision. The education of post registration nurses is an essential component of this.
Along their life-long learning journey nurses need to be equipped with attributes to enable them to question, direct and lead practice. They need to be able to make evidence based decisions to develop themselves, practice and ultimately nursing. A key tool within this is for nurses to be supported in a collaborative environment which facilitates their learning and is delivered by nurses who are clinical and educational role models. Therefore, it is essential for me as the leader of the team to develop and nurture these skills and attributes to ensure nurses are given every opportunity to become role models and leaders themselves.
In 2015, I was part of the team who won the Brookes People Award for Confidence.