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My Journey into nursing – Maria Laffan

Date: 12/05/2021 | Category: Blogs

Maria Laffan YoungMaria Laffan Now

As a teenager I was a burns patient spending almost a month in an acute setting. I guess this was my first real experience of nursing and observing nursing practice.

When I completed my A level equivalents in Ireland I came to work as a CSW in a learning disabilities institution in Watford. I learnt loads at the time however I am equally grateful that care and treatment has changed significantly in LD since then. I really enjoyed working in LD that said, and strongly considered training as an LD nurse. I also liked living in Watford (young girl from rural Ireland – even got to see Gary Davies from Top of the Pops in a local night club!)

Anyway I changed my mind (nothing to do with Gary Davies) and decided to train as a general nurse. I trained at St Albans School of nursing in 1991.

St Albans City Hospital School of Nursing

I worked in many different clinical areas from general medical wards to specialist cancer surgery areas in London – but decided eventually on a career as an A&E nurse.

I came back to Hertfordshire and specialised as an A&E Nurse.  I loved it, stayed in A&E for several years in Ireland and UK and it is still an area I am passionate about.

Over the years I have worked in many different clinical areas. I was a nurse assessor and supervisor in the first NHSD services in Bedfordshire, I worked as a service redesign manager at Bedford hospital (alongside many of my now CCG colleagues). I led clinical reference and pathway design for a proposed new build hospital in Hertfordshire that unfortunately never got the final go ahead to be built.

I ran nursing and GP services in Bedford (under BEDOC) and developed many wonderful relationships with local clinicians.  I also ran practice led consortia provision of services in Bedfordshire spanning across MSK, Dermatology, Chronic pain, Gynae and NOUS. I learned loads!

I have been working in BCCG since 2013 and love my role as deputy Chief Nurse. I find myself with the support and direction of our Chief Nurse involved in so many clinical areas that I often profess to have little knowledge of, but with the ability of working with partners to influence.