Christabel Chinonso U. worked a social care nurse when she came to the UK from Nigeria in 2022. She participated in FNF leadership programme for social care nurses from ethnic minority backgrounds in 2022-23.
I used to think I was confident and had communication skills, but coming to the UK all that changed. I wasn’t getting the job satisfaction and I was entirely going downhill – so I started searching for trainings to boost myself, to help me be effective at my work and get back my job satisfaction. I stumbled across FNF and did the co-consulting training – but I wanted more.
I screamed when I heard I was accepted on the social care leadership programme, I was anticipating so much – and I wasn’t wrong, the whole thing was mind-blowing.
As part of the programme we did the RADA sessions and the ‘building your authority’ course, I didn’t want the sessions to end. Then every day at work I would see myself trying to stand the way we had practiced at RADA, I was seeing myself living it out every day.
It has improved my confidence, it has improved my communication. I have much better skills when it comes to collaboration and team work. I have seen career progression. The list is endless.
My quality improvement project within the leadership programme focused on improving care for people living with diabetes in care homes. This is my passion. My parents both died from complications with diabetes, it made me want to do something. I didn’t want this to happen again, I didn’t want the people I cared for to get this bad. I know the things that diabetes can cause if it’s not managed.
“Diabetes alone is responsible for 43 %of hospitalisations, 52 % of Nursing Home admissions and 47% of deaths in elderly adults 65 – 74years.”(ADA).
I’m now working as a specialist diabetes nurse but I am longing to go back to social care. I want to combine the specialist diabetes work with the broader support I can provide people with within social care. Some people think nurses enter social care because it’s easy but there’s so much more to it.
When I first came into social care I didn’t understand the role very well and so I felt stampeded, I wasn’t able to be effective. I was in a hurry to run away but going through this course I had a big change of mind. I wish I’d done it earlier in my work in social care. It changed me. Hearing Deborah Sturdy talk to us about her dreams and her passions for social care was amazing, she is literally living this out, wow! Why didn’t anybody bring this up with me before! It gave me a huge shift. I realised that career progression in social care really does exist.
Christabel has also recently written a blog for Skills for Care, The future of social care nursing and its endless possibilities. Read an extract below and the full blog here.
“The role of nurses in health and social care remains crucial, as they bring so much energy, empathy and compassion in providing care, support, and guidance to individuals…. One of the most exciting things about the future of social care nursing professionals is the potential for innovation and growth, with new technologies and the evolution of healthcare systems, nurses will have access to a wealth of tools and resources that can help them provide even better care.”
The deadline for applications for the next DHSC fully-funded leadership programme is midnight on Sunday 17 December 2023. This is open to nurses working in adult social care from a global majority background. Find out more and apply here.
Christabel pictured here at the FNF leadership programme graduation with Professor Deborah Sturdy, OBE, Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care in England and Professor Greta Westwood, CBE, CEO of Florence Nightingale Foundation