Jo Chapman

Job Title

Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) Clinical Nurse Specialist

Where are you based?

In hospitals.

Is your role clinical or non-clinical?


When you were at school, did you want to join the NHS?

I knew I wanted to be a Nurse, but I didn’t know if that was through the NHS.

What qualifications did you have when you joined the NHS?

I had GCSEs, A levels in Health and Social Care and Psychology and an Advanced Diploma in Adult Nursing.

How did you come to work in the NHS?

I have always wanted to become a Nurse for as long as I can remember, so I knew the grades and courses that were required to progress me through my nurse training. Whilst at college, I joined an agency working as a Healthcare Assistant. This gave me opportunities to work in multiple healthcare environments such as hospitals, care homes, community and specialist centres. I continued to work for the agency, for experience, throughout my nurse training. Towards the end of my nurse training, I attended a NHS careers fair as I was unsure which area of nursing I wanted to work in. It was there that I met an inspirational Ward Matron for acute respiratory and I was lucky enough to get a job on her ward. I worked in respiratory medicine for a few years before transferring to Intensive Care where I worked for 5 years before becoming a sister in Intensive Care. During this time, I found a passion for Infection Prevention and transferred to become an Infection Prevention and Control Nurse.

Briefly explain your job

I work in a clinical role as an Infection Prevention and Control clinical Nurse specialist. This role is to keep patients, relatives, staff and visitors safe from infection. This varies from controlling infections within the hospital environment to preventing infections from occurring in the first place. This role involves working with different teams within the hospital as infection can affect any department/environment. A key element of my role is education, this is vital to know how to prevent the infection happening but also what to do if exposed to an infection.

What do you love about your job?

I love that no two days are the same. There is always a challenge and these last few years have definitely demonstrated this! I also love that I get to work with all teams and departments within the hospital.

What is challenging about your role?

The unpredictability of patients or infections can be challenging. Although there is clear guidance on how certain infections should be managed to prevent transmission, this can sometimes be difficult to apply to all patients and it is then our responsibility to produce a plan on how to keep people safe but also ensure the patients’ needs are met.

Is there career progression in your role and how would you get there?

Whilst working as a Band 6 Nurse, you are expected to attend University to gain a Post-Graduate qualification specifically in Infection Prevention and Control. Once you have this qualification, you can apply to progress to a Band 7 Clinical Nurse Specialist and from there can progress to become a Lead of Infection Prevention and Control for the hospital. There are also opportunities within Infection Prevention and Control to work in multiple environments including abroad to help manage infections in challenging areas such as places where there is no running water to wash hands.

What would you say to a young person thinking of joining the NHS?

The NHS gives you opportunities to work with the most talented people within healthcare and provides exceptional experience that can be applied throughout your healthcare career.

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