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Alumna of the month – October 2013

Joan Myers OBE
PgCert Non-Medical Prescribing, 2006

Robert Humphreys

LSBU alumna Joan Myers was recently awarded an Order of the British Empire from HM The Queen after being named in the 2013 Birthday Honours list for services to children and nursing.

Joan currently works as Nurse Consultant in community children’s nursing at Whittington Health, North London and is the chair of the Chief Nursing Officers Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Advisory Group. She’s also an ambassador for the Mary Seacole Statue appeal. It was during a mission work trip to Kenya in 2002 that Joan was inspired to establish a charity which receives sponsorship for children to attend school and provides funding to feed vulnerable children and their families daily in a poor village in Nakuru.
The LSBU Alumni Association spoke with Joan about her recognition and ascent to the top of her profession: “I felt really honoured and proud to be recognised by the Queen for services to children and nursing. It's a fantastic achievement to be acknowledged for both my charity work providing food and school sponsorship to 25 orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya; as well as for my contributions to children's nursing in the community in London.”
She believes the qualities of a great nurse are epitomised by demonstrating care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment. Further, Joan believes that actively listening to the each patient and their family encourages a holistic approach to care, which can ultimately empower them to take control of their own health needs.
One of Joan’s greatest professional achievements was becoming the first Nurse Consultant in children's nursing in the UK in 2003. Having completed her studies at LSBU, Joan felt suitably equipped to set up her nurse-led eczema clinic where she could provide high-quality care for children and their families by prescribing treatment that would enable them to manage their child's condition, thereby preventing or reducing the need see a GP: “As a result of being one of the first in my NHS Trust to complete the course, I have been able to support and empower other nurses and health visitors in my organisation to complete their nurse prescribing course at LSBU. In terms of my future plans, I would like to be a director of nursing in the community setting and would also like to establish a home, health centre, church and school in Kenya.”
Joan also works as Associate Lecturer here at LSBU, she lectures on specialist modules for children's nursing and the community nursing module. Her advice to current students is to have a vision and plan for the future you dream of: “Make short, medium and long term goals that will help you to progress towards your chosen ambition. Believe that you can achieve your goals and never give up or give in. It is very important to find a good coach, mentor and role model that can inspire you to aspire to your greatest potential whilst supporting you through the process.”