Meet your tutors
Congratulations on your offer to study with us! As a student here, you'll learn from people with expertise in all sorts of specialisms. We wanted to give you the chance to get to know one of them better.
Jess Powell leads the BSc and integrated Masters in Nursing. She qualified as a nurse in 1999, and specialised in cardiothoracics, coronary care and cardiac rehabilitation. Her teaching focuses primarily on clinical skills, cardiology and professional development.
I surprised myself, really!
At school, I was always more interested in arts, literature and humanities than scientific subjects. But I had my sights set on a career in healthcare. I went through all sorts of different options: I thought about occupational therapy, midwifery and medicine, before settling on nursing.
Once I got to uni, and started doing modules and going out on placements, I realised it was absolutely the right choice. I didn’t look back.
We get people from all sorts of backgrounds
That’s the joy of nursing. There are the school-leavers who have had their sights set on healthcare, many who have opted for hard sciences. There are people who join us from arts and humanities as well, perhaps not imagining that this is where they’d find themselves.
Some people come in as a second career. We get students who have been in the military, education, all sorts of different things. Perhaps they’ve become a bit disillusioned with where they were, and want to put their skills to use doing something different.
I think that’s what underpins it for a lot of us. You want to do something skilled, with complex decision-making, but also with an altruistic component. You want to make a contribution. You look forward to the rewarding elements of patient care and engaging with people, working in a team. They’re all things that nursing can offer.
You meet people who are at the top of their game
You’re always working with specialists. On placement, you’re with a group of people who know a lot of stuff about one particular thing, and often support one particular group of patients. At York, you’re learning from a group of people who have experience in a whole variety of different areas.
I think that’s probably the most interesting thing for me: the people you get exposure to, the people you get to work with. They’re talented and knowledgeable. They challenge you on your views, and you learn a lot from them. They have fascinating careers, and do all sorts of interesting research about subjects I have absolutely no idea about.
There’s so much variety
As a student, you get input from all these different people, and it gives you a really broad education.
When you’re out in practice, moving through specialities, you’ll find some that are difficult, hard to understand, and perhaps not for you. Others capture something in you, and everything clicks. When I was a student, it wasn’t until my final placement that everything fell into place.
I was doing cardiothoracics
That’s caring specifically for people who had just had cardiac surgery: things like heart bypasses and heart valve replacements. After I graduated, I spent a couple of years at Leeds General Infirmary, but I wanted to move back to York.
I worked in the Coronary Care unit at York Hospital for a number of years, and on the cardiac arrest team at the same time. I became an Advanced Life Support provider, and then an instructor. Even after I started my job at the University, I was involved in training doctors and nursing working in cardiac arrest teams.
I still see a lot of my old students
We often go out into clinical practice areas to meet with practitioners, colleagues and other staff. You invariably bump into a few ex-students. Seeing them in their stripes or their scrubs, having discussions with them and them being so knowledgeable and confident - it makes me so proud.
And hearing back from them: hearing about the diverse things they end up doing. Perhaps writing policy, supporting government; working in charities; doing research. It’s really impressive. They’re out there, and they’re doing it!