Diversity in nursing

 Lucy Muchina 29 May 2020

Just the other day we celebrated the international year of the nurse. A lot of people took to social media on Nurses’ Day (12 May) to post their appreciation of the nursing community. The day reminded us that the nursing profession’s scope stretches far beyond anyone’s imagination while always retaining the core function of caring for those most vulnerable in our society.

Safe staffing campaign
I joined nursing at the tender age of 17. The training I went through at the time was not hugely dissimilar from what it’s like now. I have to say it was a much-needed progression from standard school education. As a trainee nurse I was attached to clinical settings that varied vastly, from the acute sector to care of the elderly, community settings, and psychiatric nursing. Most of these clinical attachments ran parallel to academic work which ensured that the theory we learnt was put into practice.

Being young, I went with the flow and perhaps didn’t appreciate the sheer diversity the profession encompasses - not just in the people you encounter but also in the different specialist pathways within nursing. After three and half years, I qualified as a staff nurse and was over the moon, no longer a student nurse. I really looked forward to my long-awaited first shift as a trained nurse. It was certainly worth the wait.

I was very proud of my profession back then, and I still am now. At the time I assumed everyone held a similar title to me: general registered nurse. How wrong I was. Gradually I came to understand that there were specialities in the nursing profession. I understood that psychiatry was one of the specialities which specialised in care for people with mental health problems; I learned about learning disability nursing, community nursing, paediatric nursing, infection control nursing and many other specialties. The list was endless. 

My excitement was not going to fade anytime soon and I was off to university to do a degree and a subsequent master’s in public health. The more I ventured out, the more nurse specialists I came across who initially I had never imagined would exist.

I have continued to marvel at the endless opportunities the nursing profession brings. The old notion of nursing only taking place in hospital ward settings is long gone. Nursing has become a modern profession that’s attracting people from all walks of life who are fulfilling their desire to make a difference in people’s lives. The profession has embraced technology and one can only imagine what this will look like in years to come. I’d say if you are thinking about embarking on a career, now would be the time to go to university and do nursing. 
Lucy Muchina

Lucy Muchina

Regional Director, RCN South West

Lucy is a registered nurse with extensive experience working in the South West.

She has over 21 years’ experience spanning acute and community health settings, including nursing homes. 

Lucy qualified as a registered nurse and midwife in Nairobi, Kenya in 1992 before moving to England. Her postgraduate qualifications include a BSc in Health and Community studies and an MSc in Public Health, both from the University of the West of England. She has also completed her training as a public health practitioner.

In addition to the clinical roles Lucy has undertaken during her career she has worked for several years in senior safeguarding roles in acute and community health settings including the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

 

Page last updated - 29/05/2020