Advanced clinical practitioner Jennylea receives prestigious Queen’s honour

Advanced clinical practitioner Jennylea receives prestigious Queen’s honour

We were delighted to hear that Jennylea Gray, an advanced clinical practitioner within the Manchester Crisis Response (MCR) north locality team, has been awarded the Queen’s Nurse title. This means that Jenny has been able to demonstrate the highest standards within her practice and deliver compassionate, person- centred care. She’s also shown a commitment to developing and inspiring others within the nursing community.

Jenny has kindly shared with us, in the below interview, her nursing journey. She’s also added a few words of inspiration for anyone who’s thinking about getting into nursing or developing within their role.

An interview with Jennylea Gray, advanced clinical practitioner

Tell us about yourself.

Hi, I’m Jennylea. I was born and raised in Manchester, and I’m a Manchester Bee at heart! I have worked across the city during my nursing career, and there really is no place like Manchester!

I really enjoy the countryside and long walks in my spare time with our Jack Russell called Leela. I’ve recently moved to the Ribble Valley with my partner and son, as we also have a cat called Pandora. I like reading, swimming, watching movies, cooking, and visiting family and friends.

Why did you choose to get into nursing?

Before I undertook my training, I had always been inspired by the nurses I had met. I admired their strength, professionalism, and knowledge.

I also wanted to choose a profession where I could really make a difference in my community and care for others.

I’ve always had a keen interest in science subjects at school and loved learning about biology and social sciences, so this fed into my learning and chosen career.

I also have an interest in genealogy and have done some research into my family tree. I was surprised to find that several of my family members were also nurses, so nursing must have been in my blood!

When did you first qualify?

I studied nursing at the University of Manchester and qualified in 2011. Shortly afterwards, I got my very first job in community health (private sector) and was working for a complex care team looking after patients with spinal injuries. While here, I continued looking for new

opportunities and then in 2014 joined the NHS as an active case manager. I kept my professional development (CPD) up at the same time, undertaking different courses at both Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford. I really enjoyed this post, as I was a student within the service during my nurse training and wanted to go back once qualified.

How long have you worked for MLCO?

I continued working within Case Management and did some extra study in palliative care, non-medical prescribing, mentorship, and clinical skills, and have been with MLCO since the very start. It’s been great. I’ve been able to get experience supporting patients with complex needs in their own homes, work together with a fantastic team of professionals, and with wider INT colleagues too. Plus, the different voluntary and community groups in the Manchester localities.

What further development have you undertaken?

I became service lead for Central Manchester Case Management Service and worked on several innovation projects in collaboration with local VCSE partners and Manchester Heart Centre to improve continuity and access to health services for hard-to-reach groups.

After this, I then went on to complete my MSc in Advanced Practice within Primary care, Park Medical Practice in South Manchester, as part of this work I worked in the Migrant Health service involved in an outreach project in collaboration with Northenden Group Practice. My role was to support migrant patients as a safeguarding lead nurse and provide clinical assessment for vulnerable individuals, children, and families as an advanced clinical practitioner. The service was highly commended, winning several awards nationally.

After my master’s qualification, I’m now with the Manchester Crisis Response Service. I’m currently working on an innovation project that utilises the advanced practice role to support neighbourhoods and reduce health and care inequity.

Lastly, I’ve also worked closely with NHS England as an advanced clinical practitioner adviser, to raise uptake and awareness of the advanced practice role across Manchester, Trafford and Bury areas. I recently presented a poster about this work at the recent NHS England Advancing Practice Conference. As part of the project, we were pleased to see a 100% increase in applications for advanced clinical practice (ACP) programmes across the city.

What are your greatest passions and what do you enjoy most about your role?

My greatest passion at work is to do the very best that I can for my patients. I enjoy making a real difference and working closely with my team. I’m very proud to work within the NHS and enjoy working within the community.

Why become a Queen’s Nurse?

Becoming a Queen’s Nurse opens further opportunities. You get access to a professional network of Queen’s Nurses to create opportunities to improve and influence patient care outcomes. But most of all, it means making a continued commitment to leading on and delivering the highest standards of care.

Since receiving your news from the Queens Nurse Institute (QNI), how’s it made you feel?

The QNI was inundated with applications this year due to the pandemic, so I was very shocked to receive this recognition! However, I feel very honoured and very proud to work with some fantastic teams within the LCO, and I absolutely love working with the Crisis Response Service. Our collaborate work has supported shared care and the highest standards to keep our patients safe in the community.

What are your plans now?

As a Queens Nurse I’ll need to make an annual commitment to the QNI to highlight how my work supports the vision to lead and deliver high standards of care. I hope to collaborate with the other Queen’s Nurses in the network to learn about innovation, new ways of working and share this learning.

What would you say to anyone considering a career in nursing or who’s looking to develop?

I’d say that if nursing is your passion, go with it! It’s a very tough yet rewarding career.

There are many career pathways within the nursing field. Opportunities to specialise in clinical areas, complete research, and lead and teach others.

Nursing is a fantastic profession, offering personal growth and development. There are also often opportunities to meet lots of different people and work in different settings, and every day is different!