Spotlight on Dr Joan Shepherd

I had a passion for nursing as a young girl and after finishing secondary school, I applied for the nursing course and was accepted. I started nursing training in 1980 as a State Registered Nurse at the National School of Nursing in Sierra Leone, then pursed Midwifery training in 1985, followed by Midwifery Education and Administration in Legon, Ghana.  I have a diploma in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights from Malmo, Sweden, Uganda and have a Masters in Midwifery from KwaZulu Natal South Africa and also PhD in Nursing Philosophy from South Africa. I am a Fellow of the West African College of Nursing and a member of Sigma Teta Tau Lamda Chapter. I am a senior Nurse-Midwife Educator and Associate Lecturer at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Sierra Leone, CoMAHS, Board Member of the Scientific and Ethics Committee, Board Member Sierra Leone Nurses and Midwives Board and Chairperson of the  Anti-Microbial Resistance Curriculum Review Committee among others. My involvement in the field represents more than 40 years study and work experience. I am also past president of the Sierra Leone Midwife Association, Past Chapter Chairman: West African College of Nursing, A Master Trainer in EMoNC and SRHR; module Lead/Expert in Professionalism, Ethics and Legal Aspect of Midwifery, and Module Expert in Leadership and Management.

Role in CRIBS

Midwifery (Maternal and Child Health) and Research-led capacity building

My CRIBS experience

My experience with the CRIBS Project has been rewarding – I have been part of a team of enthusiastic colleagues who are eager to make an impact in research advancement and we are encouraging Health Care workers to personally contribute to the body of knowledge through research and networking. I feel privileged to be a part of the CRIBS team and enjoy working with a team of experts from the UK. It has been inspiring to meet and work with professional colleagues who are all working towards advancing research in Maternal and Child Health and Research Capacity Building of new and young researchers. It is good to have international perspectives on research. I have appreciated the opportunity for personal growth and development in supportive supervision and engaging in the review of research protocols has been great and enlightening. Presentation of a topic on the Ethics Committee and its role and processes in research has been wonderful.

Something Personal

I enjoy teaching students Midwifery and Maternal and Child Health and how to take good care of their appearance, and others and to deliver babies safely and provide quality service delivery. I love to listen to music and enjoy dancing. I love beautiful natural environments, natural scenery such as the forest, animals, flowers, beaches, sunshine, rain and the fish and rivers. I love to dress well and love walking long distances on foot. I am interested in making people around me feel loved and of relevance in society. I hope to be a future motivational speaker to inspire health care workers, including Nurses and Midwives, providing them with tips on how to live life in a meaningful way. I am interested in grooming young people and providing input to the faculty to make positive changes in the health systems.

I am afraid of heights, deadly animals and dark uncertainties.

My future ambition is to become an international consultant of midwifery and reproductive health issues and to become a global ambassador to promote sexual, reproductive health and women’s health issues. I would like to advance in my professional life in a positive way; to leave my footprint on the sand for others to emulate and to serve as a role model.

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