This photo was taken in 1980 on my very first day as a student nurse at Bedford Hospital.
Little did I know the amazing career that lay ahead of me and how proud I would feel to be a part of the nursing profession over forty years later.
My career began working night shifts on surgical and medical wards, before moving onto trauma and orthopaedics as a staff nurse.
A move “down under” came next as I spent a year working in a hospital in Melbourne, Australia. After a year of travel (and a lot of fun) I returned to Bedford Hospital working as an A&E staff nurse.
Aged 24 I became a ward sister and I remember thinking I’d reached my career goal. However, I went on to work in education, practice development, clinical specialist roles and senior nursing management in acute hospitals and commissioning within the PCT in Bedfordshire.
Today – not looking a year older than the 18-year-old student in that photo – I am very proud to be in my role as Chief Nurse of BLMK CCG.
I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that nursing has brought me. To have worked with so many patients and families in so many different environments as well as seeing colleagues develop their own careers. As we celebrate International Day of the Nurse, I’d like to recognise the vital work of my nursing colleagues over the last year, ensuring good and safe patient experience during the pandemic.