Spotlight on: Lucy Arora, Associate Director of Education

Lucy Arora joined us as Associate Director of Education on 4 October – a new role in which she leads all educational activities for nursing, midwifery and allied health professional staff and will drive innovative future training and development initiatives.

“I am delighted to support Lucy in my team to revolutionise clinical professional education and to work with me to develop a NNUH workforce that will lead the county in integrated advanced practice and create the leaders of the future,” said Chief Nurse Prof Nancy Fontaine.

Lucy was previously a Paediatric Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) at Great Ormond Street Hospital, working in high dependency and critical care. “I was Clinical Lead for a team that was first port of call for acutely unwell patients, which had both huge challenges and huge rewards,” she said. “Clinical education was an important part of my role, and was also vital when I set up a high dependency unit. My interest in this area led me to a year-long secondment as Assistant Chief Nurse for Education.

“Then, to better understand the student perspective, I moved to London Southbank University in 2015 as a senior lecturer, setting up a specialist paediatric prescribing course and teaching advanced practice, and I switched from a doctorate in health care to a doctorate in education the following year.”

Having lived in Norfolk since 2012, in 2018 Lucy gave up her commute to London by becoming an Associate Professor at UEA, where she led the BSc in Children’s Nursing. Her move to NNUH came after Alice Cook, Practice Development Nurse on Buxton ward, forwarded her the advertisement for her current role.

“I was blown away by the hospital when I worked shifts in Critical Care from January to April this year, having previously worked Bank shifts as a paediatric ANP,” she said. “Everyone involved was incredible – the Bank team, admin staff, the Practice Development and Education team and the Critical Care team – they were all outstanding. It completely sold NNUH to me!

“Initially, I felt rather overwhelmed by the remit of this role, but it didn’t deter me as I really wanted to help serve the needs of the hospital by helping staff develop their skills and experience.

“We’ve some areas of wonderful practice, and I want to replicate these so there’s consistency across the Trust, with everyone’s educational needs being met alongside encouragement to stretch and develop. I will work with the Practice Development and Education team to set strategic goals, covering everyone from those who are new to the profession to advanced practitioners.

“For example, I’m currently looking at how we can ensure Healthcare Support Workers – who are truly at the frontline of patient care – have access to development opportunities that enable them to grow while delivering care that’s as good as it can be.

“Not feeling fully equipped to meet the ever-expanding demands of the job – such as caring for patients with mental health needs – can be a great cause of stress whatever level you’re working at, so I’ll work with departments to ensure teams receive the education they require.”

Lucy aims to achieve this through a combination of in-house training and working with higher education partners, such as UEA.

“I’m very excited about working on an education strategy that supports all staff by enabling everyone to see a potential career trajectory and understand what they need to do to achieve their ambitions – as well as giving them access to the tools to do so.

“I’ve felt really welcome since joining and am looking forward to getting out to meet and speak to more patient-facing staff.”

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