The Rewarding Side of a Career in Nursing and Midwifery
At London South Bank University we educate a quarter of all new nurses in London, so we understand how daunting it is to step into a career that hasn't exactly had the best press in recent years. But a career in nursing can be rewarding, meaningful, and filled with opportunity for progression. Take it from the people that know - nurses and midwives with years of experience (who also happen to be part of the LSBU Nursing & Midwifery teaching team). If their stories inspire you, take the first step in your own journey and explore our Nursing & Midwifery courses.
Applying for Adult Nursing was one of the best decisions in my life to date.
I applied for adult nursing in 2000 after deciding I really didn't like 9-to-5 jobs! I had no previous experience in healthcare but I felt nursing would be a good career choice for me. I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions of my life to date. I completed my training in 2003 and started work as a Band 5 cardiothoracic nurse at Guy's and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT). I loved the fast pace and the acute nature of the ward, and the fact that every shift was different to the next - I really felt like I was making a difference to people's lives every day. I had the opportunity to move up through the ranks and was offered lots of additional training and development opportunities along the way. I ended being promoted to deputy charge nurse which I loved, but I was ready for my next challenge. I really enjoyed supporting students on clinical placement, so I completed a teaching qualification and was successful in gaining a job as a nurse educator. This allowed me to develop my teaching skills, which finally led me to my current role as senior lecturer in Adult Nursing at LSBU.
Colin Ramage, Adult Nursing Senior Lecturer
the most rewarding part of the job has always been seeing the positive impact I have had on the service users
I have worked as a registered Mental Health Nurse since 2016, and over this time I have worked in a wide range of services and gained an even wider range of experience including becoming an educated practitioner in peer-supported open dialogue, motivational interviewing, and trauma informed care. I also became an eating disorder specialist. And as cliché as it may sound, for me the most rewarding part of the job has always been seeing the positive impact I have had on the service users I have worked with, and the pleasure of working with some truly wonderful nurses. Speaking with a colleague at LSBU recently, I reflected on the individuals I worked with on the eating disorder unit. For example, how I cried with pride/joy waving goodbye from the hospital car park to a woman successfully discharged after being her named nurse for 2 years (on her request so she could feel like she was in a film). To be part of her recovery journey, from acute care to discharge will stay with me. And I still have her thank you letter which was 4 pages long, along with all the cards service users have given me over the years.
Beth Peacham, Mental Health Nursing Lecturer
I was offered the role of Senior Lecturer on the same MSc programme I had previously completed at LSBU!
I am a Paediatric Nurse by background, I initially worked in operating theatres then moved to Cardiac Paediatric Intensive Care in London. This is where I met Paediatric Advanced Nurse Practitioners; nurses who were expanding their scope of practice and progressing their clinical and academic knowledge in a way I didn’t think was possible - I was awed. This inspired me to apply for Paediatric MSc in Advanced Nursing at LSBU – I completed my MSc in 2015. The course has given me many transferable skills and encouraged me to have inquisitive mind; it has also enabled me to apply my skills across the healthcare sector when looking for employment. I was very excited to be offered the role of Senior Lecturer on the very same MSc programme with LSBU that I completed – and now I am Course Leader for the MSc ACP Child branch while also working clinically. I am in a very privileged position to be able to teach the new generation of Paediatric Advanced Clinical Practitioners – an amazing opportunity to shape the future of Paediatric Practitioners.
Kvetoslava Kocsisova, Course Leader MSc Advanced Clinical Practice
There are many opportunities for sponsored career development - seize them, as I have!
My first job as registered nurse was in adult medical oncology, where I was sponsored to study BSc (Hons) in Cancer and Palliative Care. In my fifth year of practice, I was sponsored again to study a Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Cancer Nursing, allowing me to progress into specialist nursing for prostate disease. In this position, I benefitted from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) scholarship for MSc in Clinical Research. Since continuing my career into academia as lecturer and senior lecturer in nursing, I have been sponsored to do a post graduate certificate in education, senior fellowship in higher education, and professional doctorate in education and social justice. You can sense the opportunities for sponsored career development - something that you should look out for and seize when you join the profession, as I have!
Dr Victor Kpandemoi Abu, Adult Nursing Senior Lecturer
The most rewarding part of my job as a Midwife is the relationships built with women and birthing people - I have been asked to be a Godparent to babies
I became a Midwife later in life after a career in law and administration. I always felt I had more to give but it wasn't until I had contact with maternity services as a service user that I realised midwifery was what I had been waiting for! I qualified in 2014 and worked in an obstetric unit, in the community and at a standalone birth centre. The most rewarding part of my job as a Midwife is the relationships built with women and birthing people, so much so that I have been asked to be a Godparent to babies whose parents I have cared for. I also loved having students, and this is where my pathway into education started. People often say midwifery is too narrow a field and to consider the nursing route, particularly for younger students - but there is significant potential for specialism post Band 6 and at its core it has a very different philosophy to nursing. I am now a Lecturer and proud to be an educator at LSBU, and equally proud to say I am a Midwife.
The photo is of me and my nominee for the SNTA Student Midwife of the Year Awards 2023 - she won!
Amanda Mankletow, Midwifery Lecturer
As a kidney nurse, I have been offered opportunities all over the world
What a fantastic career I've had! I've specialised in kidney care for all my working life. I started as a registered nurse on a kidney ward and I'm now a Professor at LSBU working closely with the kidney unit at Barts Health NHS Trust. As a kidney nurse, I have been offered opportunities all over the world, I have worked in many innovative healthcare teams but most importantly have been privileged to work with people who live with kidney disease. Kidney care is such a rewarding and varied specialty - best of all we put patients and their families at the heart of everything that we do.
Nicola Thomas, Professor of Kidney Care
The opportunity to specialise within the field allows for continuous learning and growth
As an Intensive Care Specialist Nurse, the role offers both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. The profound satisfaction of providing critical care to patients in their most vulnerable moments is a daily source of fulfilment. The opportunity to specialise within the field allows for continuous learning and growth, with avenues to focus on specific areas such as trauma, cardiac, or neuro-intensive care. There are also opportunities to become involved in specialist fields such as organ donation. Career progression in intensive care nursing involves a trajectory from staff nurse to advanced practice roles, such as Nurse Practitioner or Clinical Nurse Specialist, providing a clear path for professional development. Specialising in Intensive Care not only deepens knowledge and skills but also opens doors to advanced roles and leadership positions, education, and research. The dynamic and ever-evolving nature of intensive care nursing ensures that each day brings new challenges, fostering an environment where one can continually refine skills and make a meaningful impact on patient outcomes.
Gilberto Buzzi, Associate Professor & Head of Division - Adult Nursing