On International Nurses Day Royal Surrey’s Professional Director of Nursing and Midwifery Jacqui Tingle looks back at her long-standing career in the NHS, highlighting the important role of professionals heading towards retirement and beyond.
“International Nurses Day is a day for celebration and reflection and for me, that really means looking back on my career in nursing and midwifery.
“In March 1983 I left home to start my nurse training in West Glamorgan. I remember it well, my mother cried because she was so proud that I had decided to become a nurse (she cried again when I became a midwife!). Yes she cried a lot, but all tears of joy because, like so many people, her respect for our nursing and midwifery profession is huge.
“I want to use International Nurses Day to recognise the dedication of our nurses and midwives who have given excellent service over so many years. Did you know that in our Trust today we have more than 170 nurses and midwives who are older than 55 years of age? Of who, 40 have reached retirement age and 55 more will join them in 18 months’ time. That is a lot of experience adding a lot of value to our Trust.
“I think that this is a good opportunity to mention the changes to the NHS pension scheme, because in the future these will provide many more flexible working options. This year corporate nursing and HR will be working on a plan to set up a new style career clinic to support staff nearing retirement to stay at work a little longer. We want to have more of a focus on what might work well for our nurses and midwives, and for the Trust. I know that I would really value an opportunity to think about the next stage of my own career in the not too distant future.
“I have worked for the NHS for 37 years, plus three more if I include my training. WOW 40 years – where did the time go? I cannot really answer that question but I do know that like so many of you I have many fantastic stories and memories, most of them happy but also some sad. I hope our amazing teams use International Nurses Day to think about a time when nursing has touched their heart as that’s what makes us great.
“Finally, I would like all of our nurses and midwives to think WOW when you look back on your achievements and then think WOW again as you look forward to the successes of the future. I truly am inspired every day by all our nurses and midwives – enjoy the celebration.”