The nursing career for you

Find out how you can progress your career journey with us, and see what some of our nurses said about their career opportunities with St Elizabeth Hospice

St Elizabeth Hospice nurses enjoy a real variety of opportunity, and with our recruitment pathways we believe we are the employer of choice for training and progression.

• Clear staged progression pathways
• Individualised learning plans
• An opportunity to go from a generalist to specialist role.

If you're looking for a role that offers real development opportunities we now have a vacancy for a clinical nurse specialist development role.

Example career pathways.

Watch the videos below to see how our nurses have enjoyed a great range of career pathways within a wide range of hospice roles and settings.

“I was very apprehensive about coming to the hospice on a placement. The hospice meant one thing to me and I was only here five minutes, working as a student nurse on the inpatient unit and I realised – this is where I want to be. I was immediately blown away by the people that work here.


“For me, I didn’t know I wanted to work at the hospice until I came here as a student nurse, aged 45.


“I always wanted to be a nurse when I was a youngster. My mum was a nurse, my wife is a nurse, my sister’s a nurse. For one reason or another, my career took a different direction and I worked in shipping and also insurance. It wasn’t until I was made redundant from my job in insurance, I thought about what I could do now and I wanted to go back and do my nurse training.


“Once I qualified, I knew I wanted to come back to the hospice. I came back as a bank healthcare assistant and then as a bank registered nurse. When I qualified, the first job I was offered was on the Somersham Ward at Ipswich Hospital. When a job came up at the hospice, I had already worked on my skills in palliative care and knew that it was the place I wanted to be and I’ve never looked back.


“It’s the nicest and happiest place I’ve ever worked. It’s the most rewarding and when somebody says thank you, they mean thank you.


“I’m lucky that I get to work with amazing people every day and it’s a privilege to be able to do what we do. When I retire I’ve decided I want to come back as a volunteer. They’re never going to get rid of me!


“Working at the hospice challenges me each and every day. It’s not what people think and often when people come here, they are quite surprised. You can make such a difference, it’s such a supportive environment and the rewards are phenomenal. At the hospice you can make such a difference, it’s such a supportive environment and the rewards are phenomenal.


“I think a lot of nurses feel that the only place to work is in a hospital and anywhere else, you’re not going to be a nurse. But that’s a total myth. If you’re a student nurse in training, you should go on as many placements as possible – in the community and the hospital. Then you can go where you feel is right for you.”

“I started as a band 5 Registered Nurse and I worked on the IPU ward for two years. I was given the opportunity to move into a developmental post. My individual development plan took around a year and I’m now a clinical nurse specialist on the inpatient unit.

“When I qualified as a nurse, I completed a diploma and then the hospice paid for me to do a top up degree online over 18 months.


“When I left the hospital, everybody said I would lose my skills by moving to the hospice. But actually I've learnt so many skills and I feel there's so much more to learn on top what of what I've learnt already.


“I wanted to be a nurse from the age of about seven or eight but after I didn’t do very well in my A-levels and I didn’t think I could be a nurse. I was late into starting my nurse training and with a lot of hard work I managed to get my diploma. And with the support of the hospice I have achieved my degree which is a real achievement for me.


“I’ve been really well supported and I’ve spent a lot of time learning from the experienced nursing team on the inpatient unit and other areas of the hospice. The education team have also been really supportive throughout the whole process and their help has meant I’ve been able to progress my career, gain a degree and raise a family.”

“I started at the hospice as a student nurse, so I was here in my final year. I really enjoyed my time at the hospice, so I joined as a bank healthcare assistant. I got my registration as a registered nurse when I was working at the hospital where I felt I needed more acute experience.


“I knew I wanted to come back to the hospice at some point so I did some bank work as a registered nurse and then after applying for some roles at the hospice, I was offered a job in day services.


“I had some personal experience of the hospice before I worked here and I had a really good experience of end of life care. Once I worked here, I became aware that there is so much more to working at the hospice and I saw the huge range of services we provide.


“What I enjoy most about working at the hospice, is that it doesn’t matter which department you work in, everyone is here for the same reason and that’s to deliver patient care. We’re all here for the same thing and I think you get that unified feeling and everyone is just really friendly and supportive.


“Personally I feel I’ve always been taken very seriously at the hospice and from a developmental point of view, opportunities have always been open to me. After I got a job here I was put forward for a master’s module which was brilliant.


“The Education department are always checking in with me to see if there are any further opportunities I would be interested in and I’m still learning so much in my current role. I hope one day to complete my full master’s degree, but at the moment I’m enjoying attending masterclasses and other training opportunities that come up. Throughout my time here I’ve always felt as though I’ve been listened to and I’m very grateful for the support I’ve had along the way.”

“I started as a healthcare assistant in 2009 and I worked in this role for six years. I then became an assistant practitioner which required a foundation degree but as I was completing my diploma at the time and working towards my foundation degree, I managed to get the role on that basis.


“I then started the foundation degree and finished this in January. I started my next degree in February which is the BSc Hons Adult Nursing Degree – apprenticeship.


“I really want to be a registered nurse here on the ward. I think you can learn a huge amount here. I then think the doors are opened to you as you’re given so much experience.


“I love my job – which is why I’ve stayed here so long. The facilities are incredible and we’re able to give our time to patients so we can do the job properly and fulfill what you want to do to be a good practitioner. You have the time, the team and the staff to support you. It’s a lovely place to work. I love coming to work because the hospice means a lot to me.


“I have been well supported through my diploma and foundation degree. I was given a study day a week to complete that. I feel a lot more confident in my own abilities because the support from my team. The hospice has helped to build my confidence a lot more and because they’ve seen potential in me, it’s pushed me to go further.


“The hospice has such a good team with staff of all experience. I think it’s a privilege to work here and that’s really important. There’s a high level of experience and compassion here. I don’t think you’d find that anywhere else and I’m so proud of that. It’s a privilege to be part of someone’s journey because when they get to the hospice, every second is precious and you can make such a difference and you can go that extra mile.

“I think nurses perhaps wrongly see the hospice as specialised and too much of a challenge, but the support you get from the team and because the staff ratio to patients is so good. You have your supernumerary time, you have the support.”

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