Shanice works as a Community Nursing Sister for Northamptonshire Healthcare NHFT Foundation Trust (NHFT) in Corby and Kettering, part of the county’s team of community nurses who care for people across Northamptonshire.
She started her nursing training at the University of Northampton in 2016 when she was 23, and graduated in 2019. She became a community nurse at NHFT straight afterwards and was promoted to a Band 6 Sister in June 2020.
Shanice had always wanted to be a nurse, but when her mum and grandad were diagnosed with cancer, she was determined to pursue her career dream. She helped care for her mum and attended all her hospital appointments, so she got to see first-hand what nursing was like. However, it wasn’t until she was at university that she learnt about the role of community nursing. During her training she completed placements in the community which led her to choosing the community pathway in her third year at university.
Shanice says: “I didn’t really know anything about community nursing but once I had been on my placements, I realised it was the area for me. Although I also did placements in acute hospital settings, I preferred the community nursing environment.
“In hospital you see patients come and go and there is very little time to develop a relationship with them.
“Out in the community it is very different as we are seeing people in their home environments, often over long periods of time and we get to know them and their families. I have people still on my case list that I had when I first started.”
In any typical day, Shanice could see a number of patients who have different conditions and require varying nursing interventions. She prioritises those with urgent care needs, such as diabetes and palliative care patients first and works through the list.
Her role involves doing all sorts of things from taking bloods and wound management to catheter care, palliative care and syringe drivers.
Shanice is currently doing her district nursing qualification which she started in January 2021 and which takes a year. Her career aspiration after this is to do her non-medical prescribing course, with the hope of eventually becoming a Band seven District nurse.
She says: “Community nursing is immensely rewarding, and I’d recommend it to any nurse who wants to work in an environment which is fast paced and where you can really develop your skills in lots of areas. It’s great that the Trust is fully behind us and encourages us to continue studying so we can progress our careers. You can make a big difference to a patient’s life, and we get to build up such a good rapport with patients and their families.”
NHFT provides a range of community and mental health services across the county. The trust has a wide-range of opportunities for newly and qualified nurses, offering flexible working and financial incentives. Visit www.nhft.nhs.uk/jobs for more information.