I'd do it all again in a heartbeat

Owena Simpson, cardiac nurse and academic manager, Nurses' Day

Owena Simpson looks back over her twenty-five-year career in nursing.

"This picture was taken in 1997, I’d been a qualified nurse for four years and was working on the Cardiology Ward at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. I didn’t know at the time that I would stay within the cardiac speciality for most of my nursing career.

"I didn’t have a plan. I went into nursing with very little experience and was open to new challenges and ideas. I just wanted a job that was interesting and varied.

"I was very lucky – the cardiac speciality offered this and more. As a rule, cardiac patients are knowledgeable and involved in their care, and for the most part, the interventions you put in place can have significant outcomes on their healthcare, which makes it very rewarding.

Remembering what's important

"Nursing is a busy, high-pressure job and to know that you are valued by those you care for means a lot.

"In nursing, it’s the little things that make a difference. Being friendly, making time to talk or listen - even when you are rushed off your feet; doing what you say you will do and not making empty promises. These are so important to patient care.

"It’s remembering that being ill and in hospital, or needing nursing care in the community, is a hugely significant and frightening time for most patients.

"Building an effective nurse-patient relationship is a fundamental aspect of the role and is often what patients remember and value about these difficult times in their lives.

A job like no other

"I have been a nurse for twenty five years and have worked in various roles in the NHS, and in education.

"If was to have my time again – would I choose a career in nursing? In a heartbeat. 

"Nursing offers such wide and varied career opportunities, as well as great camaraderie.

"For me, nursing has always been about the people you work with and the people you care for. Every day is different, the patients and families make it such a rewarding career and it really is a job like no other."