Ann Whyte works at our Sue Ryder Dee View Court Neurological Centre in Aberdeen. Sue Ryder supported her though her Return to Nurse Practice qualification and she is now working as a Registered Nurse. She looks back over her 30-year career and explains why Sue Ryder is such a special place to work.
I first trained quite a long time ago, back in the day when we had lace caps and starched aprons!
After 30 years doing all sorts of nursing, I felt like I wanted to try doing something else. During the four years I spent working elsewhere, nursing kept calling me back, but at my age I didn’t feel able to go to university and do my Return to Nursing qualification.
Instead, I applied to Sue Ryder Dee View Court to work as a Support Worker. It was great and I started to get my confidence back.
Just the encouragement I needed
One day, I mentioned to the Centre Director that I was considering getting my nursing qualification back and she was so encouraging.
This meant a lot to me; I remember wiping away tears when she trivialised all of the obstacles that I thought were in my way, such as my age and the fact that I had never been to university before.
The next step was me applying to Robert Gordon University here in Aberdeen. The Practice Educator at Dee View worked closely with the university and with NHS Grampian to enable me to do my placement here at Sue Ryder.
Swapping my carer's uniform for a nurse's one
That was immensely important to me; I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to do my placement in an unfamiliar clinical environment. Sue Ryder bent over backwards to meet all of the necessary criteria and I became the first nursing student in Scotland to do their placement outside of the NHS.
Throughout the whole process everyone at the centre was so encouraging. Whenever I had my moments of self-doubt, they convinced me I could do it. I really don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for my Sue Ryder colleagues.
The residents were also really supportive; they loved it when my qualification came through and I could swap my light blue carer's uniform for a dark blue nurse's one.
Back where I belong
There is no doubt about it: the level of care we provide here is higher here than anywhere I’ve nursed before.
Providing such specialised care means that we all work hard, but everyone looks after each other; you always know that someone will be there to help you if you need it.
I am very grateful to Sue Ryder for this opportunity; I really feel like I am back where I belong.
Could you be our next Sue Ryder Nurse?
Sue Ryder Nurses are privileged to be there for people and their families at the most difficult time of their lives. We'd love for you to join our team.
Ann has been in nursing for over 30 years. Following a stint as a Support Worker at our Dee View Court Neurological Care Centre, she completed her Return to Nurse Practice qualification at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, with the support of Sue Ryder - and she is now a Registered Nurse at the centre.