I’m Michelle Eleftheriades and joined the Royal College of Nursing in February 2022 as the Professional Lead for Children and Young People.
Although I didn’t start my journey to becoming a Nurse until later than most as I was focusing on raising my son, my passion for making a difference to the lives of babies, children and young people has always been what drives me. For me, children, young people, and parents hold the potential to change the world. To enable them to do this, they need to be heard, supported, and guided by those that truly understand and care.
Before starting my Nurse training, I worked and volunteered across education, family support and health settings. This has given me a broad breadth and depth of understanding and knowledge about the challenges and complexities of the lives of babies, children, young people, families, and those working tirelessly to support them.
Since qualifying as a Children and Young People’s Nurse I have worked across acute care, emotional health services and at a regional strategic level. Whichever role I have taken on my aim and hope remains the same- to do all I can to make a difference to the lives of babies, children, young people, and families.
To keep this aim and hope alive the focus for me in this role, is to support and enable the Children and Young People’s nursing workforce.
I have spent my first few months in post getting to understand my role, my team, and the wonderful RCN members who go above and beyond, volunteering for the RCN, whilst also working tirelessly to improve the lives of those they care for.
I’ve also spent time exploring the opportunities available within and beyond the RCN that I can harness to further support, enable and develop how the RCN supports the Children and Young People’s Nursing workforce- not just registered Nurses but also those working in nursing support worker roles who we know play a crucial role in supporting the younger generations and their families.
My priorities for the coming months are:
- supporting and enabling the workforce
- tackling health inequalities to address the route cause of challenges faced by many
- the mental health of babies, children, young people, and their families
- ensuring all our work is considered from an equality, diversity, and inclusion perspective.
To enable progress in these priority areas I will:
- Listen to, learn from, encourage, and work with RCN members to ensure they feel supported and enabled to continue their crucial work.
- Spend time and energy ensuring the underlying causes of challenges facing the workforce become visible and better understood.
- Work with internal teams and colleagues to ensure the challenges facing babies, children, young people, their families, and the workforce supporting them are shared, listened to, and understood.
- Collaborate with external stakeholders to ensure the nursing voice is heard and nursing expertise are utilised to influence and create change at strategic levels to shape service provision and priorities at a local level.