I qualified as a registered general nurse in December 1994 and once qualified I joined the theatre team at Royal Preston Hospital where I remained for the next six months before moving to sunny Suffolk in July 1995.
I then joined the gynaecology theatre team as a scrub nurse, gaining lots of experience in lots of different aspects of theatre life and even used to help out with some anaesthetic nursing too.
After getting married and having my two children, I joined the Nuffield theatre team in 2002, working again in all aspects of theatre, recovery and endoscopy.
Throughout my theatre career I continued to study, initially at Suffolk College gaining a Diploma in Nursing, then onto completing the Advanced Scrub Practitioner course.
In 2009, whilst still working in theatre at the Nuffield Hospital Ipswich, I started helping out in the pre-assessment clinic gaining further experience in nursing.
I was asked to be the lead nurse, setting up a new service at the Nuffield, caring for bariatric patients preoperatively, peri-operatively and post-operatively throughout their journey with weight loss surgery. I worked closely with the other clinicians, dietician, consultant microbiologist and a consultant surgeon, giving the patients the best service they possibly could.
In 2010 I moved on again into a new role back at Ipswich Hospital working as a nurse specialist within the gynaecology department. It was whilst I was in this role that I started a degree; undertaking a BsC Nurse Practitioner at the University of Suffolk (when it was University Campus Suffolk). I graduated in 2016. This qualification enabled me to get my current job working as a nurse practitioner in primary care at a local GP surgery.
I was the first one in my immediate family to go to university and gain a degree. Although it was an extremely difficult time; working, running a home and family, and studying, I feel it was all worthwhile and cannot thank my family and friends enough for all their support.
You can read more of our UniSuffolkMadeMe stories at www.uos.ac.uk/unisuffolkmademe