Bethann Siviter

Nurse Consultant and author

Graduated in 2002

Bethann Siviter is a well-known nursing writer, speaker and advocate for students, healthcare assistants and the art of nursing practice, as well as the author of two bestselling textbooks. She overcame sudden illness and disability in 2006, not only returning to her demanding role as a nurse consultant but also using her experiences to help support other people with disabilities who work in nursing.

Originally from the USA, in 2002 she completed her nursing diploma at Birmingham City University, where she built up her campaigning expertise in various roles at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Association of Nursing Students (ANS), National Executive, and the RCN Council.

When publisher Elsevier contacted the RCN asking for a student to look at an American textbook to see whether it would work in the UK, they suggested Bethann, who had already written her own guide - The Student Nurse Handbook - and offered it up as an alternative. This was followed in 2008 by The Newly Qualified Nurse's Handbook and a second edition of The Student Nurse Handbook.

After graduating, Bethann took up a post as a district nurse team leader in a nurse-led general practice and in 2005 she became a nurse consultant at South Birmingham Primary Care Trust. Bethann now writes about the impact of developing a disability and returning to work after long illness, as well as the importance of healthcare assistants, and contributes to the RCN's 'Statement of Principles on Nurse Education'. She has a regular column in Primary Health Care, a Nursing Standard family journal, and is editor of the RCN Work Injured Nurses' Group (WING) forum newsletter.

Bethann is on the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) Professional Practice and Registration Committee (2009-11) and the NMC's expert panel on disability, as well as the British Standards Group Disability Expert Reference Group.

Bethann's significant achievements were recognised when she was named by the University as one of its Alumni of the Year in the Community Engagement and Leadership category, and she plans to continue studying to help make a difference.