• 04 May 2021
  • 12 min read

From Newly Qualified Nurse To Band 7 And My Own Business In 10 Years

  • Josephine Amoah
    Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
    • Tyra Annan
    • Comfort Amuabeng
    • Josephine Amoah
  • 1
  • 1207
"Within 4 months of joining that hospital, I went from a Band 5 Surgical Inpatient nurse to a Band 7 Infection Prevention and Control Lead Nurse"

Josephine’s nursing career wasn’t clearly mapped out. Instead, it has, like life, been a journey: arriving at an unknown fork in the road and taking an instinctive decision about which way to go next.

Topics Covered In This Article

Thinking About Becoming A Nurse - 2003

Nursing Studies - 2007

Placement - 2010

Newly Qualified Nurse - 2010

In At The Deep End

Band 5 Infection Control Nurse - 2014

Band 7 Inpatient Control Lead Nurse - 2018

Starting My Own Business - 2020

What I Do Now And Why I Enjoy It - 2021

My Advice To Any Nurse Looking To Go Into Business

Thinking About Becoming A Nurse - 2003

When growing up, I always wanted to be an air hostess due to how glamorous they looked.

In the summer of 2003, in my mid-teens, I migrated from Ghana, West Africa, to England to join my parents.

I studied GNVQ business for 1 year at a Sixth Form in London.

I did not enjoy Business Studies much, so I decided to find another subject to study.

It was during a conversation with my parents one day that they suggested that I study nursing.

This piqued my interest and I started to research into how I could get into nursing.

Nursing & Care Jobs at Nurses.co.uk

Progress Your Career. Search 1000s of Nursing & Care Jobs

Search Jobs

During that same period, one of my family members was hospitalised and on my many visits to the hospital, I enjoyed observing the nurses and the nursing team at work.

I am a very empathetic person and always ready to help people in need so I knew nursing could be a great career for me.

Nursing Studies - 2007

The journey to nursing school was not straightforward for me once I decided I wanted to study nursing.

To prepare me for nursing studies, I completed English and Maths GSCE in 2005, Health and Social Care NVQ Level 2 in 2006, and Access to Nursing (NVQ Level 3) in 2007.

I moved to Berkshire from London to attend the University of West London (then Thames Valley University) for my Nursing Diploma.

Being a student nurse was tough. There were times I had to choose between visiting my family in London for the weekend or staying in Berkshire to study.

There were also times when I had to juggle coursework, student placements, writing reflective essays, working part time, and studying for exams at the same time.

I went for a few clinical placements in my first year, some of which made me question myself several times if nursing was for me.

But my last placement in my first year which lasted for 3 months reaffirmed my believe in myself and career choice as well as my love for nursing.

Placement - 2010

The last clinical placement I had was for 3 months and that was on an orthopaedic ward.

I enjoyed it so much that I decided I wanted to become an Orthopaedic Specialist Nurse.

Due to this decision, for my elective placement in my 3rd year of nursing, I chose to go back to the same orthopaedic ward for 3 months.

I excelled at that placement and impressed my mentors as well as the Management on the ward.

I was one of those students who was always asking the nurses and carers what I could do to help and what task they wanted me to complete.

(Side note: nurses and carers love students who are proactive and always willing to help!)

I was promised I would get a job on that ward.

Newly Qualified Nurse - 2010

After qualifying in July 2010, we all attended a group interview, which was common practice in those times.

I put the orthopaedic ward down as my first choice.

Unfortunately, I did not get my first or second choice and I was sent to a Urology / General Surgery ward to work instead.

I later found out that one of the Ward Sisters on the orthopaedic ward, who was not one of my mentors, refused to have me back on the ward when it came to the selection process.

She offered the job to another nurse who had never had placement on the orthopaedic ward and who did not want the job in the first place.

This rejection, without reason, was a big blow to my confidence.

So, my dream of becoming an orthopaedic nurse who pushed aside.

Life on the urology / general surgery ward was extremely hard.

There was no robust system in place to support Newly Qualified Nurses in their jobs and there was one nurse who seemed to take joy in making junior nurses cry.

The ward itself was a busy one; we had post ITU patients, patients who had major urological surgeries, lower limb amputations as well as patients who were acutely unwell.

To put this into perspective, there were 13 lower limb amputations in the first week that I started work.

In At The Deep End

I also remember once turning up a night shift when I had only been qualified for 2 weeks and found out the senior nurse that I was scheduled to work with had called in sick earlier.

Since the Site Manager could not find any other nurse to work with me, I had to work on my own with one Healthcare Assistant, who turned out to be quite knowledgeable and competent.

Since I was not competent to give oral and IV medications, a nurse from the other side of the ward (the ward was split into 2) helped me with these.

But in the end, I was still the only nurse in charge of over 20 patients, some of whom were very unwell.

I panicked in the beginning but once I realised help was nowhere in sight, I had to carry on and do what I could in that situation, within my competence.

I came out of that shift feeling a bit more confident in my ability to stay calm in and deal with difficult situations

This event made me realise that I could do this: nursing was for me and I would work hard to gain more experience, confidence, and to progress in the profession.

Band 5 Infection Control Nurse - 2014

Since qualifying, my background has mainly been in surgical and medical nursing.

I worked on a surgical ward for over 3 years when I decided to leave due to the constant discrimination that I experienced which was affecting my progression.

In 2014, I managed to secure a Band 6 Surgical Nurse job at another hospital, but I had to decline this job because I was expected to work 7 nights on, 7 nights off.

This was impossible for me at that time as I was a mother of a 2-year-old.

So, although I lost out on that job and stayed in that hospital as a Band 5 Nurse, I realised that I had the necessary skills to be a senior nurse.

At this job, I developed an interest in Infection Prevention and Control and decided to become an Infection Control Link Nurse on the night shift.

Band 7 Inpatient Control Lead Nurse - 2018

I worked in that hospital for over 3 years but then realised there was no room for progression for me.

So, in 2018 I moved to another hospital and worked as a Band 5 Inpatient Surgical Nurse.

Within four months of being there, there was an opening for an Infection Control Lead Nurse role.

The Infection Control Nurse who had applied for that job and was due to start the role decided not to take up the role again.

So, the Director of Nursing (DoN) at that time sent an email around to all qualified staff to ask if anyone of us was interested or knew someone who might be interested in the role.

I emailed the DoN and expressed my interest, met up with her for an informal chat about the role, attended a formal interview and got offered the job a few days after the interview.

Within 4 months of joining that hospital I went from a Band 5 Surgical Inpatient Nurse to a Band 7 Infection Prevention and Control Lead Nurse for a hospital with about 140 staff members, 20 inpatient beds and 10 Day Surgery beds.

Starting My Own Business - 2020

For as long as I can remember, I have always felt unsatisfied with just being a bedside nurse as I felt deep down that there was more to me and there was more I could do with my nursing experience.

In June 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, I decided to seize the opportunity to make an impact on nurses and leave a legacy in the nursing profession.

I founded Bina Consults and set out to mentor and coach student nurses and nurses respectively, in Ghana, West Africa, where I originally come from.

Mentoring and coaching student nurses and nurses in Ghana made me realise some of the major problems that nurses as well as Healthcare facilities face on a day-to-day basis.

I then decided to offer my services to hospitals and clinics in Ghana as a nurse consultant / advisor, helping them to improve patient care / services and to provide safe care.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Do you have any questions about progressing your nursing career?

Ask Josephine your question below

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Currently, I offer the mentoring and coaching services to student nurses and nurses in the UK as well and the feedback has been great so far.

As a goodwill gesture and to allow me to gauge the market, I offered free mentorship and coaching to a total of 10 student nurses and nurses when I started my business.

It was quite time-consuming offering group classes as well as one-to-one sessions with all the mentees.

Becoming a business owner helped me to improve my organisational and time management skills, as I went from being a bedside nurse to a business owner and needed to juggle lots of different tasks.

In the mentoring and coaching business, the challenge I faced in the beginning was getting nurses and student nurses to accept me and the services that I was offering.

As with any non-physical service, I did lots of behind the scenes work to ensure that the services I was offering were worthy and were meeting the needs of my target audience.

What I Do Now And Why I Enjoy It - 2021

At present, I am a Band 7 Infection Control Nurse with a local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

In this job I work weekdays and during office hours only, and provide Infection Control services/support to Hospitals, GP Surgeries, Care Homes, and other CCG Commissioned Services in a specific geographical area.

This is vastly different from bedside nursing as it is not patient-facing, but all the skills that I acquired from being a bedside nurse have been invaluable to me in this job.

I enjoy this job as I work as part of a great team who work tirelessly to ensure that service providers are compliant with local and national IPC guidance and policies, in order ensure the safety of their patients or services users.

I have also recently started operating my own Nursing Recruitment Agency and currently serve as a Director of the company.

This business was a tougher one to start but I had a business coach who held my hand throughout the process and helped to take all the guesswork out of starting a nursing recruitment business.

My Advice To Any Nurse Looking To Go Into Business

● The most important advice I would give to any nurse looking to get into business is to decide on the area of business that they want to go into.

● Research, Research, Research! once you decide on the type of business you want to start. You need to know who your target audience is, what services/ products your customers want, how to provide the best service to your customers and how your competitors are doing in the market.

● Acquire the services of a business coach, someone who is already in the same business that you plan on starting. Business coaches are great because they have been there, done that and have learnt lessons. Acquiring the services will help you avoid all the uncertainties that you may encounter.

● Be ready for tough times. It is not always smooth sailing when it comes to business. There are times when you will feel like giving up.

● Have a support system in place, especially if you are parent or have any dependants. Have a network of like-minded people, people you can bounce off some of your business ideas.

● Skills such as communication, prioritisation, critical analysis, and critical thinking skills are especially important. These are transferrable skills that you already have as a nurse so do harness all the skills to help you succeed in your business.

● Lastly, be patient. You may not see much progress in or profits from the business in, which is normal for the first 6 months to 1 year of any business. But keep persevering and bettering your products or services and this will eventually pay off.

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Do you have any questions about progressing your nursing career?

Ask Josephine your question below

---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

About the author

  • Josephine Amoah
    Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist

I am a UK RGN and Band 7 Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist. I am also a Nurse Coach / Mentor and the Founder of Bina Consults and Bina Healthcare Ltd (Nursing Recruitment Agency).

See all of our RGN jobs

7016 jobs currently available

Search Jobs

Support Our Writers & Develop Your Career

We'll store your details securely. We'll send you emails that support your career and job info.

  • Josephine Amoah
    Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist

About the author

  • Josephine Amoah
    Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist

I am a UK RGN and Band 7 Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist. I am also a Nurse Coach / Mentor and the Founder of Bina Consults and Bina Healthcare Ltd (Nursing Recruitment Agency).

Want to get involved in the discussion
Sign In Join
    • Jacqui NANCEY yesterday
      Jacqui NANCEY
    • Jacqui NANCEY

      That was Absolutely FAB Josephine ! Your account is both Encouraging and Inspirational Keep it up!

      • Thank you so much, Jacqui. I hope my journey inspires nurses and student nurses eveywhere😊 Kr Josephine

        Replied by: Josephine Amoah