I’ve been a nurse for thirty years and when I heard about the cadet scheme, I thought what an exciting chance for young people to explore nursing as a career.
I was lucky that I grew up around nurses and that my interest in healthcare and nursing started when I was around 5 years old! Aged 16, I had work experience in a local nursing home which helped me in applying for nurse training. Nowadays opportunities for work experience in healthcare can be hard to find and this is something the cadet scheme provides.
My clinical work was in adult and children’s critical care (I am dual qualified as an adult and children’s nurse), before moving into an academic career where I have helped lots of people achieve their goal of becoming a registered nurse, led strategic projects and held senior leadership positions. In 2017, I became a professor of nursing, which is a huge honor considering I left school with no A levels.
The cadet scheme is truly open to anyone aged 16 to 25 years old who wants to explore nursing as a career option, no qualifications are necessary - it’s the inclusivity of the scheme that I really love. Having been in the role for three months I have met lots of our current cadets and alumni and I have learnt what a difference this scheme makes to young people.
We have a very busy 2023 ahead of us delivering more nursing cadet cohorts than ever and launching in Scotland and Northern Ireland to become a four UK country scheme. I’m looking forward to the challenge to working with even more cadets than ever before to make a difference and celebrate nursing, which is such a fantastic profession.