Sue Twells, staff nurse at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, has dedicated herself to the health service since 1974 where she studied at the Portsmouth School of Nursing, saying a job in nursing was always her ‘goal in life’.
The mother-of-two began working as as adult staff nurse on the male urology ward at St Mary’s Hospital before moving to the fracture clinic and orthopaedic ward at the Royal Hospital.
From there she went on to work on D1 and the Intensive Therapy Unit at QA.
Years later, Sue completed her paediatric training and worked on the orthopaedic and surgical ward.
She played an instrumental role in moving the ward down to the Shipwreck ward at QA and spent the rest of her career there.
Sue said: ‘It was something I’d always wanted to do. I just went for it and never looked back. It’s a good job and a rewarding one.
‘I remember working with a patient and it took six months before he could walk again and go home. It was really rewarding to watch the patient improve and follow his journey. As a nurse, you can always go home with a sense of achievement.’
Sue’s daughter, Vicky Donnelly, followed in her mother’s footsteps and is currently a matron at QA.
Vicky said: ‘My mum is a true inspiration. She was the one who encouraged me to become a nurse and has supported me throughout my career so far.’
Sue recommends the role and offers the following advice to anyone looking into nursing as a career: ‘I think the key point is to listen. Ask for advice from your colleagues and they will be able to support you and share their own experiences. Don’t be afraid to raise new ideas and ask for help if you need it.’
Sue is looking forward to spending time with her family and taking care of her grandchildren at her home in Copner during retirement.
She looks forward to enjoying her hobbies of Lego and reading, and says she is excited for the little freedoms she will now have - including wearing nail varnish and wearing jewellery every day.