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.
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
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."
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."
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
"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
To find out more about the retire and return scheme please email