Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Angela Fowke, retired nurse last year aged 65 with 43 years of committed service to my profession

  MY BLOG November 2018 

* July 2017, I took retirement aged 65, following 43 years of almost continuous  service with just a 5year break for a baby and being ill with cancer.

* My Registration renewal was due on January 2018. I informed the registration and revalidation department that I was not renewing my registration. 

* I then received a very short email saying I was off the register, I was not to use my qualification in any capacity that required a registered nurse, I could no longer practice anything medical, my PIN number was cancelled and thanks for my service and goodbye.

* I was very very sad and dismayed how cold and final that my 43 years of service as a very dedicated nurse had come to such an end. I had gone from a valued member of the nursing profession one day and the next day I was nothing!! 

* This prompted me to write to Professor Cummings about my dismay and 'treatment' how my career had ended. This comes from the fact that there was no recognition or acknowledgment of my dedication, my professionalism or of my continuous 43 years services a committed nurse. I was also sure that there would be many other nurses feeling the same.

*Professor Cummings was very supportive and in agreement with my view. She then referred me to Paul Vaughan, Director of Nursing - Transformation. 

* This referral led to a meeting in London with Paul and he too was in agreement that Nurses leaving the profession should also be 'handled with care and sensitivity'. 

*Following on from this meeting, a new letter was drafted with more careful wording and thought, the draft of which I was allowed to read through and amend (which I did). So now, hopefully, retiring nurses receiving a letter with more recognition of their service will feel a little more cared for at the end of their career ( I do think a letter should be sent instead of an email as it seems more professional). 

* This also led me to think about the nursing register. The first occasion I needed to revalidate was actually at the end of January 2018 so, obviously, due to my imminent retirement, I did not. However, I was very keen to stay on the register for at least another year just in case I wished to do some bank work, help at school or possibly care work. I was not aware that I could have revalidated earlier. 

* This brings me to my next thought. Why can't nurses upon retirement remain on a different part of the register, which states that they are retired but may wish to return to work as either a bank nurse or be available in a medical capacity to help out in a crisis, without the complication of having to re-register quickly or revalidate. Most nurses should be able to prove that during their working time they had kept their CPD up to date. 

* Just because I no longer get up and go to work on a daily basis does not mean that my brain has stopped functioning sensibly and that I have stopped being a caring nurse! or forgotten how to be one. 

                                                                                                                                       Angela Fowke November 2018

What inspired you to write this blog?

I was very disappointed at the procedure for retiring nurses and felt there should be a gentler, smoother and more professional end of service for retirees' Also feel that we should not need to be removed from the register immediately and that there could be another part of the register that we could move across to in case circumstances change. Also we should be able to retain our pin. Obviously one would need to undertake a back to nursing should we wish to return to a job.

What is your role?


What are your nursing and/or midwifery qualifications?


Joanne Loades 2 days ago

Really interesting insights Angela, I know lots of colleagues who have retired but never really considered the actual process of coming off the register and how this is handled. Being a nurse is such a huge part of our lives and who we are, not just leaving a job! Wishing you a very long, happy and healthy retirement and hope you find a way of using and sharing your many years of skill and expertise!

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