HAVING recently retired following 50 years nursing at Musgrove Park Hospital I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in nursing to have a go! 

I only finished working this year because I was finding it increasingly difficult to wear the masks for the 12-hour shifts, and after losing my husband of 45 years to cancer earlier this year, it has not been a good time. 

Since I was a little girl I always wanted to nurse. I was not the cleverest pupil at school, and I suffered a lot of illness, but once I started to do what I had always dreamed of, I never looked back. 

I even won a cup for being the best student nurse in 1974! 

In my 50 years I have delivered babies, and seen the look of wonder on new parents faces coupled with the worry of what lies ahead. 

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I have broken good news to relatives, as well as bad; helped resuscitate thousands of people; laid out children who I will never forget, and also adults of all ages, some of whom I will also keep with me forever.

I have sat and held hands with the dying, and been a comforter to many “friends and family”, and I have also seen many patients go home who were not expected to! 

Where else would you have such job satisfaction, working in a team of like-minded and friendly caring people, who remain your friends for life. 

There is now a shortage of nurses, and health workers in general, so if you are thinking about nursing as a career, I would urge you to give it a try, and keep Florence’s lamp shining! 

Who knows, maybe you will be looking after me one day!