Maggie Morley celebrated half a century of caring and enjoying the job she “truly loves” this week.
The specialist oncology nurse (pictured with flowers) was joined by more than 30 colleagues, past and present, to reflect on a 50-year career at Southlands and Worthing Hospital.
“Nursing was my calling,” said Maggie, “and at 16 I left home to be closer to Southlands. I was homesick, but this was what I wanted to do.”
A life-time later - from cadet nurse in 1969 to head and neck cancer specialist in 2019 - Maggie has no regrets.
“I have no plans yet to retire,” she said. “I enjoy what I do too much!
“I have made many wonderful friends and the hospitals are such a lovely place to work.
“I love it because of the compassionate nature of all the staff, which is something that hasn’t changed.”
Maggie, who now works part-time at the age of 66, qualified as a registered nurse in 1974 and within four years she was ward sister of the ear, nose and throat department in Worthing.
“I remember moving to the old Lister House, opposite Worthing Hospital, with other nurses,” said Maggie, “and the first thing we noticed was that it had a swimming pool!
“We had a lot of parties, but we still worked hard, and enjoyed caring for our patients, first and foremost.”
Nursing has, of course, changed immeasurably over the decades. Would Maggie still recommend it?
“I certainly would,” she said. “Go for it, grab the opportunity with both hands and enjoy it.
“It’s a great feeling to wake up and come and do a job I truly love!”
If you know anyone interested in nursing, please tell them about the new Nursing Associates training programme by going to: https://www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/your-trust/careers/apprenticeships/
The trust also recently launched a Refer a Friend scheme, rewarding staff with up to £750 for helping recruit a qualified nurse, midwife or operating department practitioner. Please visit https://www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/your-trust/careers/ for details.