Old photograph of Dr Marion Andrews-Evans

Dr Marion Andrews-Evans is the CCG’s Executive Nurse and Quality Lead. 2020 is Year of the Nurse & Midwife, and Marion has shared her nursing story with us in celebration of this.

What inspired you to become a nurse?

When I was at school I did voluntary work in a care home and was inspired to be a nurse by one of the residents.  Nelly had been a nurse missionary in Burma and told us stories of her time as a nurse and the difference she had made to people’s lives. Though I was not interested in travelling abroad I was encouraged by her to pursue a career in Nursing.

How has nursing changed over the years and what challenges does it face now?

In some way nursing has changed a lot and in others it has not changed at all.  When I trained as a nurse we studied at the hospital’s nursing school and lived in the on-site nursing accommodation. My first payslip was for £95 but we did get free tea included. We were apprentices and learnt most of our skills and knowledge on the wards. Now nurses study for a degree at university and undertake a clinical placement to learn.

I always recommend new nurses read ‘Notes on Nursing’ by Florence Nightingale (1859). If you read this you understand that the fundamentals of good nursing and what it is to be a nurse have not changed for over 160 years. Having been in nursing for over 40 years it is disappointing to see that the challenges we face today are similar to those in years past. Nurse recruitment remains a key challenge, as well as the increasing numbers of patients requiring skilled care.

Why are you so passionate about providing opportunities for future nurses?

Nursing is one career that provides you with thousands of different opportunities and I think it is for nurses now and in the future to take up all the chances they are given. New careers open up every year and it is really a very exciting time to be a nurse and for the role of the nurse to have the recognition it deserves.

What do you hope your work with the University of Gloucestershire will achieve?

With an increasing requirement for more nurses, we need a future workforce that is skilled and available to care for our patients in Gloucestershire. The partnership we have forged with the University of Gloucestershire gives us this opportunity to grow our own local students and develop our existing staff to take on broader roles.

What has been the highlight of your career?

My career has had many highlights from working as a nurse on a film set and winning the Nursing Times award for patient safety to being made an Honorary Fellow of the university. There is also the satisfaction I get when I see members of my nursing team achieve promotion and go on to be Nurse Directors. But most of all I still remember the patients I have cared for over the years. The man I resuscitated on Christmas day and the gratitude of his wife; supporting the family of a lovely man who had been told he had Huntington’s disease and an elderly lady who had repeated admissions with chest infections only to find she was allergic to her budgie. I have had amazing opportunities in my career having worked at all levels and in most specialties. It is now up to the nurses in the future to take advantage of the opportunities they are given.

In 2019, Marion was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Gloucestershire for her work to establish nursing courses at the University. The University rolled out a new nursing degree in September 2017. The course is helping to tackle nursing shortages both locally and nationally through a three-year undergraduate degree with hands-on experience at every stage. Development of a sustainable health and care workforce is a key theme within Gloucestershire’s Integrated Care System (ICS). You can find out about nursing at the University here.

Logo for year of the nurse and midwife

Old photograph of Marion