“The best part of this job is the time you get to spend with your patients”

This International Nurses Day, we’re sharing Joanne's experience of being a Sue Ryder Nurse at Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice, to help celebrate the dedication of our nursing teams and encourage others to find out more about a nursing career in palliative care.

Joanne Chapman, Sue Ryder Nurse
Joanne Chapman, Sue Ryder Nurse at Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice

Joanne qualified as a nurse in 2010 and started her career as a medical nurse at a hospital. She then moved to a local NHS Foundation Trust where she was a surgical nurse on the general ward and was later promoted to a ward sister. She joined the team at Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in November 2020.

A warm welcome

“Starting this job at the hospice just before the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic meant that I didn’t have much settling down time and I was right in the middle of it from day one!

“However, I have been working in the acute nursing sector for a long time, so I could manage that and everyone was really welcoming and supportive.”

“Palliative care is something I've always been interested in”

“Working on an acute surgical ward meant that it was always very busy and extremely hands-on. I picked up a lot of skills and learned so much – it was the role that made me into the nurse I am today. However, I got to the stage where I was looking for a new challenge.

“I saw this role come up at Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice and I knew I wanted to apply. Palliative care is something I have always been interested in and I worked closely with a palliative care team in my previous role, so I had some experience.

“I think what really appealed to me is that I had a lot of skills that I felt I could offer here.”

“We’re all really close and we help each other out”

“I was keen to be part of a smaller, closer team and when I started this role I could tell straight away that everyone got on. We’re all really close and we help each other out; it’s lovely.

“What also stood out to me were the opportunities for learning and progression. After just five months in this role I have already been put forward for a leadership and management course, which I am starting this month. This can often take years in other nursing sectors and I’m really pleased that the ward manager is so supportive and has recognised something in me.”

The time to care

“The best part of this job is the time you get to spend with your patients. In other care settings, you’re often on your feet running around all the time and you’re going from one task to another quick as a flash. Although it’s been a busy time at the hospice because of COVID-19, you get that tender loving time with patients and you can really get to know them. 

“I would definitely encourage people to apply to work here. There’s plenty of learning opportunities, great career progression and you’re part of a friendly and supportive team. Sue Ryder as a charity does incredible work, and to be part of that feels amazing.”

Join us when it really matters

Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice is currently searching for Registered Nurses to join its 'Outstanding' CQC-rated hospice. The Reading-based hospice offers time to care in one of the most rewarding areas of nursing, in a supportive and friendly environment with great benefits.

Read stories from other Sue Ryder Nurses about their experiences of providing care in our hospices and neurological care centres.

A nursing career in palliative care with Sue Ryder

If Joanne's story has inspired you to consider palliative care nursing, please email us or call 07975 235450. By joining our team, you'll support us to help people through the most difficult times of their lives.

Joanne, Sue Ryder Nurse at Duchess of Kent Hospice

Sue Ryder Nurse

Joanne

Sue Ryder Nurse, Joanne, originally qualified in 2010 and started her career as a medical nurse in a hospital. She later worked as a surgical nurse on the general ward of a local NHS Foundation Trust, where she was promoted to a ward sister. She joined the nursing team at Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in November 2020.