Meet the EB nurses

Profiles of the EB Clinical Nurse Specialists  

Jacqui Finnigan



Originally from the UK, Jacqui Finnigan trained as a nurse in London. Her career with caring for children started two years later in 1986 when she qualified as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse and worked with children and families in the inpatient hospital setting. She then went on to manage a busy Children’s Outpatient Department.

Over the years Jacqui undertook further training courses in various specialty areas of children’s nursing and successfully studied for a BSc (Hons) in Health Service Management and obtained a 2:1.

In 1993 Jacqui became a Children’s Community Nurse in Central London and it was in this role that she was introduced to EB. Jacqui supported children with EB and their families and worked in partnership with the EB Team at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Jacqui consolidated her community nursing experience by obtaining a BSc (Hons) Community Health Care (Children’s Nursing) / Specialist Practitioner Community Children’s Nursing with a 1st in 1997.

In 2000 Jacqui moved to NZ and the following year took up a position of Children’s Community Nurse at Starship Children’s Hospital.

In 2005 Jacqui met the Director of DEBRA NZ and since then she has contributed to DEBRA’s nursing team as a part time EB Nurse Specialist.

"I am passionate about supporting clients with EB and their families to help them achieve their maximum health potential and best quality of life,” she says.

In 2008 Jacqui changed her position at the Auckland DHB. Jacqui is currently employed there part-time as a Nurse Specialist and Coordinator of a respite care programme. In this role Jacqui supports families with medically fragile children across four DHBs in the North Island, as well as her role as an EB Nurse Specialist.

Sharon Cassidy



Sharon is a Registered Nurse with over 28 years experience in surgical nursing. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Nursing Practice and at the end of 2008 was awarded the NZ Nurses Association Flora Cameron Award for excellence in practice

Sharon works 28 hours a week for the Paediatric Department at Christchurch Hospital. Her background is in burns, plastic surgery and wound care nursing and she is the wound resource nurse for the department. 16 hours a week is spent as a senior staff nurse on a busy surgical ward and the other 12 hours as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (outreach nurse) co-ordinating the care for EB children in the Christchurch area.

Sharon also runs her own community nursing business called SOS Nursing and one of her contracts is part time to DEBRA NZ. She is a member of the New Zealand Nurses Association, New Zealand Childrens & Young Person’s of Aotearoa, New Zealand Wound Care Society and Australia New Zealand Burns Association.

Jane Widdowson



Jane joined the DEBRA New Zealand nursing team early in 2013.  She comes with 20+ years’ experience in burns, plastics, dermatology and maxillofacial surgery across both public and private settings.  For 12 years she was the Nurse Educator for these sub specialties at Waikato Hospital.  Jane recalls first learning about EB when a young boy was admitted to the plastic surgery ward for an operation in the early 1990’s – ‘as part of the nursing team, we were advised of this young boy’s skin condition and the additional cares and considerations that were required – this had significant impact on me and which I never forgot.’  ‘Providing person-centred care has always been an important aspect of my nursing and that continues to be a focus when supporting those affected by EB.’

Jane is a member of the New Zealand Wound Care Society, and is active in the Waikato branch by organising and/or speaking at education evenings.  Since 1999 she has participated in teaching and co-ordinating the Emergency Management of Severe Burns Courses by the Australia and New Zealand Burn Association.  She continues as a Key-Coordinator for New Zealand.  Other affiliations are Clinical Nurse Specialist Society New Zealand and New Zealand Dermatology Nurses Society.   She has completed a PG Diploma Health Sciences – Advanced Nursing. 

Jane is also employed part time at Waikato DHB as a Nurse Educator in the Professional Development Unit.