Debra Jackson’s nursing career is intercontinental. She currently works in the beautiful city of Oxford in the United Kingdom, but also has a continuing professorial appointment in Australia. She is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Nursing. Considering both the depth and breadth of her life’s work, it is really no surprise that Jackson sought out STTI because of its international focus. Especially intrigued by STTI’s commitment to leadership development and serving disadvantaged communities, Jackson joined STTI nearly 18 years ago via the Xi Omicron Chapter at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.
“Being a member of STTI has helped me to have a wider, more global perspective on some of the challenges that I have faced as a nurse,” says Jackson. She has discovered that support from STTI takes many forms including mentorship and camaraderie through real-time and online networking activities, regular professional events and development opportunities, as well as access to world-class resources, including the Virginia Henderson e-Repository. One of the highlights of Jackson’s annual calendar is the STTI annual research congress. “Not only do I get to learn about world-leading nursing research, but there are lots of opportunities for discussions with nurse researchers”.
The connections Jackson has made have been particularly rewarding. “Sometimes nurses can feel professionally isolated, and it can be difficult to establish ongoing professional relationships with those outside our own immediate work environments,” says Jackson. “STTI provides an avenue to engage with nurses of all stages of career, in all sectors, and in all parts of the world. This coming together is very important and gives us the inspiration and strength we need to continue our work to advance local and global health.”
Through her STTI membership, Jackson has been able to reach out and support nurses who are earlier in their career, most notably as a counsellor. Responsible for recruitment of members and for organizing professional evenings and other events, this role brought her into contact with other members both within and outside her chapter. Serving as counsellor helped her develop a good overall sense of the range of activities STTI can offer.
“And, those activities offers personal benefits in addition to the professional advantages,” Jackson asserts. “The achievements of other members of STTI have provided me with an ongoing source of inspiration,” she says. “I am humbled and amazed when I see and hear of the wonderful work that STTI members are undertaking all over the world, and this in turn has helped me to be tenacious in achieving my own goals.”