There are lots of incredible colleagues I work with on a daily basis but this week I would like to shine the spotlight on those who have joined the Trust and then followed a career pathway to become a registered nurse.

Those colleagues who started as Healthcare Assistants (HCA) and have successfully gone on to be qualified nurses with training and support from our Trust all have a story to tell about how they got involved and how their passion and determination led them to train for a rewarding role as a nurse.

Seventeen colleagues have followed the Trust’s apprenticeship programmes for Nursing Associates (NA) and for Registered Nurses (RN) with 11 currently on programmes.

Three have gone from HCAs and qualified directly through the RN apprenticeship programme with one currently on the programme.
As a nurse myself, I know the pressures and challenges they face, but it is so good to see the crucial role they play in caring for our patients.

Four of those who have qualified – Anita Chant-Clift; Aravind Bhaskaran; Kelly Beaman and Kathryn Brown – have talked about what a fantastic opportunity it was for them to take part in apprenticeships.

They have succeeded in becoming RNs through apprenticeship programmes for NAs and RNs. All of them say it was hard work, but an ideal way to train with the programmes being a mix of university, working on the ward, study time and placements.

We are also so proud of them as they have gone above and beyond to fulfil their dreams.

For Anita, she is over the moon that she has reached her life goal and Aravind said that an apprenticeship was a brilliant route to progress your career without the financial commitment.

What has shone through with all of those who have followed this route is the care they show for our patients and the determination to help as much as they can.

Kelly Beaman thought she had missed her opportunity to train as a nurse and was working as an HCA at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH). It was only when she attended an open day with her daughter Grace Asterley who wanted to become a nurse, that she realised that it was still possible.

Kelly was accepted for Adult Nursing and both she and her daughter Grace graduated as nurses at the same time.

Another colleague Kathyrn Brown was made redundant from a bank after 26 years and then started as an HCA. She is also now a qualified nurse.

All of these nurses are inspirational and it shows that it is never too late to follow your dreams.
They all acknowledge that there were hurdles to overcome but they did just that in grand style.

It is Cervical Screening Awareness Week, which highlights the importance of cervical screening (smear test) and why attending a screening invitation is so important.

I would urge you, if you receive an invitation to go for your routine cervical smear, please do not ignore the letter.

It will take just 15 minutes of your time and can help catch the early signs of cancer – it could save your life.