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QEII, meet your 2024 Nurse of the Year

23 May 2024

It’s celebration central at QEII Hospital’s Ward 4B, where Stroke Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) Jessica Wood has claimed the title of QEII’s 2024 International Nurses Day (IND) Nurse of the Year. 

Launching her nursing career at PA Hospital nearly a decade ago, Jessica spent five years fine-tuning her Neurosciences skills before switching gears to take up an emergency nursing role in regional Queensland while claiming her Graduate Certificate and Masters degree. 

Two years on, Jessica’s passion for stroke care drew her back to Brisbane where she found her home at QEII. 

“Working in a rural ED and managing a lot of neurological conditions reminded me of my passion for the brain, so when I joined QEII as a Clinical Facilitator, I really gravitated towards the Stroke Unit,” she said. 

Within two years of joining QEII, Jessica has curated an impressive nursing portfolio, splitting her time between roles as a CNC, Clinical Facilitator, and more recently including time in an A/Nurse Educator role. 

“I wear a different hat every day. My work in the stroke space is largely around coordinating and educating patients, as well as a lot of data collection to guide quality improvements. 

“The nursing education aspect of my role is very focused on the nursing staff and increasing their capability in practice, by updating components of knowledge around upcoming procedures or changes.” 

Adding the IND award to an impressive list of early career achievements, it’s Jessica’s combined passion for advancing stroke care and empowering patients that drives her practice.

“I really enjoy caring for patients with neurological disorders and supporting them through recovery. Brain injuries are life-changing and often debilitating, so I get a lot of satisfaction from being a positive force in the patient’s life and recovery during that time.”

Between patient and nurse education, clinical facilitating, data reporting and clinical progress, Jessica has worked closely with the ED team and her own team at 4B, making remarkable strides toward improving the quality and efficiency of stroke care at QEII. 

With key achievements including reducing the door-to-CT time for stroke patients by more than half, and implementing an AF (atrial fibrillation) screening central monitor at 4B, Jessica and her team’s collective efforts are raising the standard of care by targeting efficiency in the critical golden hour. 

To Jessica, it’s the multidisciplinary effort and cross-unit communication that empowers the team to deliver these outcomes and inspire the next generation of nurses. 

“I think it's important to share the achievements of the positive work that my nursing colleagues and I are doing, to shed light on the great things being done in the nursing world. So many are moving on from the profession, and I am very passionate about being a part of movements to improve that in the future.”

With her sights set on advancing stroke care for the QEII community, Jessica reflects fondly on the unit’s achievements across the last two years, and looks forward to reaching more milestones at 4B.

“I would like to increase the capacity of the Stroke CNC and be more involved in code strokes and eventually establish a nurse-led TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack) Clinic, because I’m really passionate about reducing patients’ risk of stroke.

“I can’t change the world, but I can be a part of the change.” 

Last updated 23 May 2024
Last reviewed 23 May 2024

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