My journey to become an Admiral Nurse by Jakki Whitehead

Jakki Whitehead, an experienced care professional, is hoping to become one of dementia care’s ‘beacons of excellence’ – an Admiral Nurse. This blog follows her journey from day one.


May 2016

My path to becoming an Admiral Nurse began in May 2015 when I asked the management at Springhill Care Group if they would support me in my endeavour.

Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses ‘who give expert practical, clinical and emotional support to families living with dementia to help them cope.’ The nurses operate as a partnership between Dementia UK and a host organisation such as Springhill and it’s a role I’ve been interested in taking since I first started working with people with dementia six years ago.

Admiral Nurses are registered nurses prior to taking up their new role, and will already have expertise in working with people with dementia. To the families of people living with dementia they can be a real lifeline at what is often a difficult and challenging time of life; supporting, explaining and helping to make sense of what people are experiencing.

In my bid to become an Admiral Nurse, I wanted to demonstrate to Springhill Care Group exactly why it would make such a difference, not just to the families of those we care for, but also to our business.

Springhill prides itself on being at the forefront of dementia care, and I knew that following an Admiral Nurse pathway would help us to provide a relevant, responsive service and to be recognised in the community as a provider of excellence.

It has been a long journey so far to become one of these specialist nurses and I have not been accepted by Dementia UK yet! I am hoping that this will happen soon so that I can start to make use of the best practice days and clinical supervision to enable me to be well-equipped to provide specialist-level leadership in dementia care within Springhill, informing our good practice, training and promoting good communication.

Admiral Nurses are recognised as a ‘beacon of excellence in the care sector, by providing unrivalled guidance, responsive solutions and innovative thinking.’

To my knowledge there are only 19 Admiral Nurses based in care homes across Britain although about 170 Admiral Nurses within the United Kingdom.

In October last year I received the great news that Springhill Care Group’s management were fully behind me and would support my journey to becoming an Admiral Nurse.

I can’t wait to share the rest of my experiences with you here in this blog.

By Jakki Whitehead, Service Manager for People with Dementia, Riversway Nursing Home

To learn more about Admiral Nurses on DementiaUK click HERE to be redirected to the website


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