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Line of Nursing Duty

09 May 2019

Sunday 12 May is International Nurses’ Day, so we wanted to celebrate some of those who are proud to be nurses at Southend University Hospital.

Mollie Boxall

Newly qualified nurse

"I went straight from studying my A-levels to the University of Essex for three years on my nursing degree, with many of my placements at the Trust. I'm now on Shopland Ward as a qualified nurse, where I've been for eight months. 

"Nursing was always something I wanted to do: my brother is a doctor, and hearing his stories in healthcare made me very interested in working for the NHS from a very young age. I wanted to be a nurse as I wanted to make a difference to people's lives, improving their quality of life. I'm a caring person and I love talking to people and getting to know the patients that I look after. No two shifts are the same and I am constantly learning and developing new skills and come across different challenges every day." 

Mollie also spoke about how well she has been supported, both as a student and as a nurse. She said: "What's great here is that you don't stop being supported once you qualify; throughout my first six months, I was given opportunities to go to training days to develop my skills further and these have helped me whilst working on the ward. The MSK Unit have a personal development nurse who has helped me complete my competencies such as my intravenous and oral medications. Whenever I need advice on a matter, all the staff are so helpful and I always have someone to turn to."


Keith Parkin

Change of career nurse


"I've been a qualified nurse since 2012, prior to that I was a flight attendant. I went back to college and started my training to become a nurse in 2009.

"All the way through my training I thought I was going to be a medical nurse but then I was given the opportunity to start here on Shopland Ward and that is where I have stayed. I'm now Ward Manager - a role I've been in for 14 months - but started as a staff nurse before being seconded in a trauma nurse role for two years. I then completed my orthopaedic nurse course and then the ward manager position came up.

"I really enjoy the part of my role that supports staff on the ward and helps grow our own nurses and supports them through their training. We've got some really good nurses, we work really hard as a directorate to support our staff and they are out there now being fantastic qualified nurses.

"I love nursing and I think it's a really rewarding job. Every part of the team that looks after a patient - whether they are a doctor, a nurse, a physiotherapist or pharmacist - all make a difference in patients' care. I like to think of nurses as the glue that holds it all together."



Cindy McKenny

Retire and return nurse


"I've been a nurse since 1983 at Southend Hospital and was eligible for retirement at 55. So I took advantage of the retire and return scheme, leaving on January 25 and returning on January 29.

"I didn't always know that was something I wanted to do, I attended the retirement information day last year and HR were so positive about the retire and return programme and made it very easy to do, so I did it.

"As I was coming back to the same job on the surgical assessment unit (SAU) I didn't need to be interviewed, it was fairly seamless. I've now got my pension coming in and have come back, dropping a few hours. I was on 30, but now do 20, which is two ten hour shifts. With the pension the money isn't that different. I'm also helping to develop someone new in the role, a knowledge base that could have been lost had I just retired."

"I still enjoy my work, but this way gives me more time at home. More time to walk the dog, see my mum and I've got a trip booked to Canada. To anyone thinking about retire and return I'd say do it, if they want to carry on doing the job of course! For me it is perfect."

To find out more about the retire and return scheme please email Retire.Return@southend.nhs.uk.