Endocrine Nurse Award Winner 2019: Alison Milne
Alison Milne | Nurses' News
‘Winning this prestigious award has indeed been an honour and a privilege.’
I have been affiliated with the Society for Endocrinology for many, many years now, and it is fantastic to see how much specialist nurses have grown and flourished over that time. Having our own award, in recognition of our hard work, is testimony to this. We are respected and valued within our specialist field and beyond.
Endocrinology, especially pituitary conditions, has been my passion, and my experience is vast. I was mentored predominantly by Professor John Bevan, who comments that I was probably one of the first Endocrine Specialist Nurses in the UK! Steroid education and patient safety have been paramount in my ever-changing role. I have always thought of myself as the patients’ advocate.
My role as an Endocrine Specialist Nurse for The Pituitary Foundation over the course of 10 years really brought home how important we are in supporting our patients throughout their journey. You may or may not know that many hospitals in the UK don’t have a specialist endocrine team and have no Endocrine Specialist Nurse to offer advice and support. The Foundation’s nurse helpline is a valuable service for patients and the families and carers of people who have been diagnosed with a pituitary condition.
I have endeavoured to promote steroid education to patients and their families and carers, and also, importantly, to fellow healthcare professionals, which is an ongoing area of my work.
Working with The Pituitary Foundation, along with my role at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, has given me a platform to share my knowledge.
I have been involved in writing patient information leaflets and factsheets, presenting at numerous meetings and conferences, lecturing at universities to student nurses and medical and dental students, and contributing to advisory boards. I have delivered webinars and have enjoyed frequent involvement with various patient support groups.
I am proof that, if you strive to do your best in your career, there really are no boundaries.
Guidance and support from fellow nurses and colleagues, both within your team and in the wider endocrinology community, are of great benefit. That is why networking is extremely beneficial. So, don’t be shy, attend as many conferences and educational meetings as you can.
I have worked with very supportive colleagues who believed in me and enabled me to grow within my role, and I have appreciated all the learning experiences that have brought me to where I am today.
Many nurses (myself included) think ‘I couldn’t do that’ or ‘I’m not qualified to take that on’ or ‘I don’t have a degree or masters or lots of letters after my name.’ I could go on, because I have thought and said them all, but, at the end of the day, we are capable of anything, especially if we are passionate about our work.
The stated aim of the Endocrine Nurse Award is ‘To recognise individuals who have demonstrated innovative and successful nurse-led initiatives in the endocrine field that have advanced best practice in patient care, education or research.’ Remember that this could be you! The Society for Endocrinology is here to support us with many opportunities to help us on our journey.
Thank you to all who believed in me and helped me develop as an Endocrine Specialist Nurse.
Alison Milne, Endocrine Specialist Nurse, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, NHS Grampian