I have recently returned to nursing in the NHS, after a seven year break.
I left my previous job through illness. I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, a type of brain tumour, and underwent neurosurgery in June 2000. As a result, I am hearing impaired and have encountered many problems to overcome. After recovering, I didn't initially re-register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as I thought I wouldn't be able to nurse again.
However, two years ago I felt much stronger and, being left as a single parent, I undertook a return to practice course at Cardiff University. Although I was apprehensive about returning to nursing, I actually felt as if I had never been away. I had excellent support from the ward staff during my placement and I had huge empathy with the patients.
There were a lot of aspects to the role that I needed to learn differently, but I found the challenge hugely rewarding. I successfully passed the course in 2009 and initially began work as a temporary auxiliary nurse until I got my nursing registration.
I now work as a registered nurse for continuing care, looking after patients in the community. This has been a totally new challenge for me as previously I had worked in hospital settings. Eventually I would like to progress to become a nurse lecturer.
In my return to the NHS I have not only found a job I love, I have rediscovered my passion for learning and my ambition.