As part of plans to mark International Nurses Day, we highlighted the experience of one of our local nurses who has made the transition from an auxiliary nurse to a staff nurse.
Caring, dedicated, and committed. Three key qualities which Lisa Egan has lived by in her long and sometimes arduous journey from auxiliary nurse to staff nurse. Lisa is now back working in the Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU) at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, the same place she started her nursing career after being inspired by colleagues.
After leaving school, Lisa undertook an HNC in Care and Practice at Forth Valley College in Falkirk, then went to work in homecare, looking after older people in their own homes. Wanting to go to university to fulfil her nursing ambition, she undertook a one-year access course at Cumbernauld College followed by three years at university. But times were tough, and it wasn’t until her daughter started primary school, that the hard learning began. Although she dropped from working a 37and a half hour week to one day a week whilst at university, she managed to win through in the end.
Lisa said: “I am proud to be a part of the team within SAU, my colleagues have been a big part of my journey and have supported me throughout my transition from auxiliary nurse to staff nurse. My passion has always been in surgical nursing, it is a challenging and fast paced environment to work in, there are good days and bad days within this role, but knowing you are helping someone and contributing towards their recovery is extremely rewarding.
“I have no plans for the future as yet, I’m still finding my feet in my new role but I will likely stay within the surgical area.’’
Next year Lisa will have been with the NHS for ten years. Asked what would she advise others who are thinking of becoming a nurse in the future Lisa said: “It is a difficult job to go into but try to stay focused on the end goal, that’s what got me through.
“I found the nursing degree course taxing at times with long placement hours and course work was also difficult, but you must be committed, dedicated, and positive throughout. Enjoy the learning journey and trial every opportunity you are giving in your placement areas.
“It can be emotionally and physically draining but the rewards are worth it all, nursing is a lifelong career with so many different paths, no day is the same and every day is a learning day.’’