Helen Shaw-Brown

MHealSc (Nursing)

PG Dip Tertiary Teaching

PG Dip Professional Nursing Practice, BN, RN


In my role as a community health educator/field worker I have undertaken professional supervision with Helen at Value Me NZ for over 1.5 years now, once a month. During this time Helen’s support and skilled questioning to enable exploration of my practice has been very valuable. The sessions have been helpful with reflecting on my practices, experiences, and for developing skills to improve my work with clients, as well as developing skills within myself for personal development and growth.
At times I have had some complex and challenging situations come up at work. For example, communication issues with management, safety issues in an autonomous role, also another time I was supporting a family and wanted to problem solve how I could work with them while keeping professional boundaries as the lines in a community and caring role can often get blurred. At the sessions Helen worked through these issues with me, sometimes we used a diagram on a board, wrote down a brainstorm on paper, and for a recent situation used figurine objects to work out and look at the scenario. By using these visuals this helped me greatly to see things much clearer and to help work out what I could do. I would really recommend to others to have supervision.
Thank you Helen for providing a great service in a friendly, welcoming and safe environment.


I would like to emphasise first of all the importance of receiving supervision/mentoring and above all the encouragement it brings as I focused on maintaining a perspective on the work I do as a Registered Nurse and also in understanding myself. For me it was beneficial to have Helen’s expertise to help me reflect on my practice, to look at the challenges that occur from time to time, and problem solving these in a way which increased my confidence and value as an R N in my work situation. It was also very good to have another point of view to consider and to think laterally as to how things could be done differently. A valued experience Helen.


I was fortunate enough to meet with Helen for a coaching/supervising session once a month over 3 years. Often I would take a challenging situation or recurrent work frustration that had occurred to supervision. Together we would work out what the real issue was. Despite my natural ability to reflect, by talking the issue through with Helen it often became apparent there was a deeper issue. For example what I thought was due to an inadequate communication on my behalf or a personal dislike proved to be an issue around change in the workplace and peoples struggle with that (not with me). Once the problem was identified we would explore ways to remedy. Consequences of this could be anything from getting involved in workplace education, policy change, undertaking an audit to examine change in the workplace, or just supporting and/or listening to colleagues. Over time Helen taught me to turn challenging situations around by bringing myself and other team members focus back to the patient ie. patient safety and quality of care, not the team members or the conflict.


We engaged in a series of sessions on leadership development and as a result I was able to step up in the workplace. In addition I was able to develop realistic expectations of myself and others, concentrating on excellence and integrity in nursing. I learnt to grow other people and get them to take responsibility, to deal with criticism, to give honest feedback, address issues and discuss concerns, examine levels of accountability and build and strengthen collegial relationships.
I felt supported and motivated particularly at those times when professionally I was feeling a bit wobbly and was considering giving up nursing.

I’ve now stopped asking myself what would Bridgette Jones do in this situation and now ask myself what would Helen do, what would she ask me?