I think the proudest I’ve ever been was when I received my PhD award. It took me nine years to do it, and it was a long journey. I didn’t do it to get a better job or anything like that. I just did it for me; it was what I wanted to do. So that was probably my proudest moment.
I was 23 when I started nursing. It’s a career with lots of ups and downs, it’s stressful and challenging, but I still think it’s the best job ever. I would never do anything else. I worked mainly as a district nurse, out in the community, and the relationships you build with patients is second-to-none. Some district nurses can spend 10-15 years taking care of a patient and they become part of their family. You don’t get that in a hospital.
I feel like I’ve gone full-circle, really. I was a student nurse, then a trained nurse, then a consultant nurse, and now I’m teaching. Some people say it’s a funny move, to go from clinical practice to teaching, but I’m passing on my experience and knowledge to the next generation, so to me, it’s really fulfilling.