Recite Me

My Nursing Career Journey: Josie Spencer, CEO

My Nursing Career Journey: Josie Spencer, CEO

As part of our International Nurses’ Day celebrations, we’re sharing the career stories of some of the wonderful nurses that work within the trust.

Although her day job involves looking after the running of NCH&C, our CEO, Josie Spencer, is originally a nurse by trade. Here’s how she got into her chosen profession, and some of her favourite things about being a nurse…

Josie Spencer, Nurse & CEO of NCH&C

Did you always want to be a nurse?

Not specifically, I knew I wanted a job working with people that had a lot of variety, but I hadn’t thought any further ahead than that. When I was 16, my high school careers officer suggested I consider a career in nursing. I started volunteering on an elderly ward at my local hospital at the weekends, which I really enjoyed, so I decided to pursue nursing as a career.

What attracted you to nursing?

As well as the variety and interesting workload that comes with being a nurse, I was keen to work as part of a team, making a difference by providing care to those who need it.

How did you end up where you are now?

I became a student nurse at age 18 and worked mostly in A&A and Medical Admissions after I qualified, as well as a brief stint in Haematology. After completing my Registered Nurse Tutor Course, I went on to work in Practice Development and Research and Development.

My later positions in Operational Management include Director of Nursing, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director, and onto my current role as CEO of NCH&C. Throughout my career I have worked in different types of nursing, including Acute, Mental Health, Community, and a bit of commissioning.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from being a nurse?

Always be kind and think of how it feels to the other person you’re dealing with, whether that’s a patient, carer or colleague.

What are the best things about being a nurse?

You get to meet wonderful people from all walks of life, both as your patients and your colleagues. It’s also very rewarding when people appreciate what you do, and when you can feel that you have contributed to a team.

What would your one piece of advice be to someone starting their career in nursing?

I have had a fantastic career in the NHS. Yes, nursing can be hard work, but overall the NHS is full of opportunities and remains a wonderful place to work.

Was there anyone that inspired you earlier in your career? What did they teach you?

As a junior nurse, I was always in awe of the senior nursing staff. Whenever I watched them work, one of the key things I picked up was the way they interact with patients.

What are some of the most memorable experiences from your time as nurse?

There are so many, most from my A&E days: from being offered money by patients, to washing the contents of bedpans off my shoes. At times I have shed tears with patients and their families, but also plenty of laughter, too.

Click here to find out more about the varied nursing roles we have at NCH&C.