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“NELFT helped me to feel part of the community” – Shelter shares her story this International Nurse’s Day

Photograph of Shelter, blue background with white crosses scattered, 'International Nurses Day', NELFT logos

This International Nurse’s Day, NELFT is sharing stories from the nurses who spend every day in the community supporting and helping patients.

Shelter, who has recently celebrated her first anniversary at NELFT, moved to the UK from Zimbabwe in early 2023, works at the Chadwell Health centre in Barking and Dagenham.

Shelter brings with her a vast range of nursing experience, which includes occupational health, midwifery, and community nursing. Her experience and transferable skills make her a valuable asset to the community nursing team.

Shelter said: “Being a nurse in the community is what is best for me. It is where I found my passion and where I feel supported and valued.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Shelter was working in Zimbabwe as a nurse in the Occupational Health hospital. At the peak, Shelter was on the front lines giving out vaccinations to children and young people.

Shelter said about that time: “I was so scared. Everything was so frightening. But I told myself ‘I am the woman of the moment; this is what I’ve got to do’. I knew I needed to be compassionate and speak about the importance of the vaccinations.

“What gave me hope in these dark times were the good relationships with my patients. The power of great relationships within community healthcare can go a long way.”

When moving from Zimbabwe, Shelter received support from the Trust in a multitude of ways. She said:

“The support passed my expectations. The recruitment process and the pastoral support was amazing. Everything was in place when I arrived in the UK. The communication between myself and the support teams was great. I knew that adapting to a different country was going to be difficult, but NELFT helped me to feel part of the community.”

Since coming to NELFT, Shelter has been given the opportunity through the Organisational Development team to develop her skills through the Band 5/6 Community Nursing Development programme, which she will be finishing in August. The programme helps nurses to fully develop the knowledge and skills in Community Nurse roles through a mix of clinical and leadership training with some accredited modules.

“The Trust has given me lots of support and opportunities. Having access to learning resources is fantastic as there is always an opportunity to learn more.”

As Shelter progresses in her career, she is looking forward to learning and developing in her role as a community nurse in the hope of becoming a district nurse in the future.

To find out more about nursing careers at NELFT, visit: NELFT Careers


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