Happy New Year 2020

Despite a rough start to 2019 (my mum passed away on New Year’s Eve) it was an amazing year, as was 2018 and 2017. The past 3 years have been one incredible journey for me despite some dark times through 2018. However, this isn’t about all those years, this is about 2019 and what 2020 holds for me so far.

I started 2019 very excited as it was my final year as a student nurse! Nonetheless, I did make the decision to take a step back and not overdo it this year. I needed to concentrate on finishing my degree and get that NMC PIN that I’ve worked so hard for. At the beginning of the year our dissertation and final NP4 exam was launched. The NP4 exam was by far the hardest (or it felt that way). Maybe it was because it was the final one? The added pressure made it feel worse than it actually was maybe? Either way, it was hard and I had to revise solid, daily, for a couple of months (at least!) and I passed yay!

A group of us went down to Bristol to do a poster presentation for the RCN – another amazing achievement. But the highlight here, was that I got to meet some of the fantastic #EarlyRisersClub people: Ewout, Fiona and Rebekah. Who each inspire me daily with their lovely messages on the thread we have going 🙂 I look forward to meeting more in 2020 hopefully!

Going further into the year, I’ve done a vlog every week (sometimes two). One a month of those are a sponsored vlog! Which I never thought I’d get asked to do 🙂 what an honour. I was also given the amazing opportunity to attend a GPN leadership workshop and it erased my fears of public speaking g. Then stood and spoke at the best in practice conference – an amazing feeling. Which then enabled me to write an article about leadership that was published. Later on in the year I was invited to do a Q&A panel at the Nursing Times careers live event – Birmingham. Which was another amazing experience and so honoured to be asked to take part in this. I have met some amazing people along the way and I’ve had so many beautiful messages from people saying I have inspired them to keep going or to come into nursing – Which has made my whole year! This is why I started vlogging and blogging – to motivate and inspire as well as inform others. So to know I have done this, is amazing to me.

I won the ‘inspirational student of the year’ award along with the ‘nurse / midwife of the year’ award at Birmingham City University. I was also added to the we nurses #100OutstandingNurses list! What an amazing achievement! Completely in shock still about all of these. And thank you to everyone who voted for me 🙂

Then in October we raised money for the Cavell Nurse Trust with our Snowdon hike and bake sale (10k for nurses) for the second year running 🙂 and made my target! But earlier on in the year, I was given a Cavell star, which was a huge shock to me. These are given to people who have gone above and beyond for others and more… if you know anyone who has gone the extra mile and made a difference please nominate them for this. It’s such a wonderful feeling receiving it. You can find out more here.

New Year 2019, I made some resolutions and for the first time ever, I stuck to them.

  • Post a positive thing that happened that week into my positivity jar for the rest of the year and open on New Year’s Eve 2019
  • Visit my dad more
  • See friends and family that I haven’t seen for a while
  • Read more books
  • Gain more kilograms (kg) to make me my ideal weight of 61kg

And now, I’ve not only achieved all of these but I’ve qualified from university and if my calculations are correct it will be with a first class honours degree!! Something I never thought I would ever get. Coming from basically no GCSE’s (nothing worth anything anyway), to being unconfident and put off by doing a degree to getting a first?! Wow! I stand here today proud and I wish my mum and nan were here to see it. But I know they’ll be looking down at me and smiling.

So, how is 2020 looking for me?

Firstly, 2020 is the year of the international nurse and midwife – What a perfect start to my year as I am a newly qualified nurse and the year I will become an official NMC registered nurse. Secondly, it’s the year I start my very first post (of many years to come) as a nurse. In which I have just moved south, down to Portsmouth for, it’s big changes and adjustments ahead in 2020 which I embrace. I’ve worked as a healthcare assistant for roughly 11 years now and this has been a long time coming. My journey here has been a long one, but I wouldn’t ask for it any other way. I needed this journey and the journey needed me along the way too. People often ask each other ‘if you could go back and change a single thing what would it be?’ My answer, absolutely nothing. Non of the hurt, non of the mistakes I’ve made, nothing at all. Because I wouldn’t be here today and who I am today without it all.

And lastly, I have some talks to do on leadership and general practice nursing which I’m very excited about! I also hope to create more blogs and vlogs as well as memories along the way.

Oh wait… I should have added a different firstly… on New Year’s Day (today, the day I’m posting this blog) I’ve signed myself up for the polar bear swim! Which is a tradition in Canada where people dive into the sea.. I loved their quote here “Symbolically wash away 2019 and dive into 2020 refreshed” (Colwood, 2019). If I don’t survive this, I love you all and thank you! I ended 2019 and began my 2020 in Canada visiting my cousin, it’s been a perfect end to this year.

I’ve made some amazing friends along the way (some I haven’t met in real life yet) and I’ve also lost a couple of friends along the way sadly. So thank you 2019, and the years before you, you’ve been extremely good to me all in all.

To all of my readers, I wish you an amazing 2020. I wish you all the joy, health and happiness in the world. And don’t forget, 2020 is yours to own – make it a good one. Be kind, be caring and take those chances. You’ve got this!

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34 years old and finally achieving my dream of becoming a nurse.

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