Autumn 2020 issue
Est. Reading: 2 minutes

Return to Practice

In 2016, Bedfordshire nurse Debbie Martin, retired from nursing after 31 years. But it wasn’t to be quite the end of her career ...

Debbie's mother had passed away in a hospice in another part of the country. She had had concerns about the nursing care her mother received, felt disillusioned with nursing and opted to retired. Fortunately for the Trust, and for patients and colleagues, this was not the end of Debbie’s nursing career and she is back!

How many years did you spend in community health/nurse

I qualified as a nurse in 1985 a long time ago and then became a district nurse in 1991. I moved into various other nursing affiliated jobs and management positions.  I retired as a nurse in 2016. My role at that time did not need a nursing qualification.

What made you reconsider your decision?

I recognised that I had acted irrationally in retiring as a nurse. I realised nursing was a part of me and therefore wanted to regain that professional accreditation.  

What do you think needs to be done to encourage others to return to practice? 

I think letting people know that it is a very rewarding profession and that it is like riding a bike - you do not forget! You are just a bit rusty but the core skills required to be a nurse you do not forget. 

I feel very honoured to be supported to re-instate my qualification.  The value of going back to basics cannot be under estimated.  Anybody thinking of returning should not feel anxious as they will get all the support they need.

Debbie is Associate Director of Community Services in Bedfordshire.

If you are interested in returning to the nursing profession, we would love to hear from you. Email:

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