Jo Cousin’s story from Nurse to Acacium Group’s Clinical Governance Chief Nurse
At Acacium Group, we are driven by excellence and proud to have more than 120 nurses as part of our team, supporting our unique approach to improving people’s lives through expert healthcare, social care and life sciences.
To celebrate this year’s Nurses’ Day, we asked Jo Cousins to share her story from qualifying as a nurse in 1998 to becoming Chief Nurse at Acacium Group.
What makes you proud to be a nurse?
It may sound like a cliché, but it’s why I became a nurse; I like to help people. I do everything I can to ensure people are safe and cared for, not only during a hospital stay or treatment but also to give them a positive quality of life.
What does your role look like now?
Whilst resuscitating a patient, I sustained an injury which meant I had to undergo major spinal surgery and then wait six months before I could return to my clinical role as a Recovery Nurse. During this time, I was placed in HR to implement an e-rostering system across the Trust, which is where I had the opportunity to work with Bank Partners, part of Acacium Group, to create an interface between our booking systems. A position soon became available for a Contract Manager at Acacium Group, and after 20 years of nursing, I decided to make the change and give it a go. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions. During my time at Acacium Group, I have worked as a Clinical Lead and Operations Manager and learnt so much before taking on my current role as Clinical Governance Chief Nurse.
Instead of caring for several patients a day, I now work with teams that ultimately care for thousands of patients a day, and whilst that is somewhat overwhelming, it is exciting.
When the pandemic hit, I questioned whether I could do more and considered going back to work on the wards. After talking to our Clinical Director, I realised that my role helps Acacium Group support its clients and as a team, we make a difference to many more patients; it gave me perspective on how valuable my work is.
Why is clinical governance integral to Acacium Group?
There are so many layers to clinical governance and the integral role we play, from creating policies and ensuring quality and safety across the Group to investigating incidents and complaints and implementing changes.
I believe clinical governance is vital, and without it, we would not be safe providers of healthcare staff.
As a nurse, you have to care. While my role is no longer direct clinical care of patients, ultimately, that is still my priority; it is why I work in clinical governance to influence the care of thousands of patients and clients. To support my non-clinical colleagues in the recruitment process by not just reviewing a CV but seeing how that candidate must be the right person with the right skills. It’s not a checklist to tick off and hit recruitment targets; it’s about our clients’ and patients’ care. It’s great to see our colleagues’ passion for doing this.
Jo’s nursing story is one of many within Acacium Group, and we take pride in all the expertise our clinical nurses provide and the difference they make.