Recite Me

Our Nurses. Our Future: Fiona Kent, Lymphoedema Specialist Nurse

As I reflect on my journey into nursing, I can't help but think of the myriad of experiences that have shaped my career over the past 35 years.

Fiona is a Lymphoedema Specialist Nurse and has shared her journey throughout nursing. Read Fiona’s story to find out why she is filled with hope and excitement about the future of nursing…

Fiona Kent

It’s a journey filled with challenges, triumphs, and moments of profound self-discovery. So, what made me want to embark on this path in the first place?

Back in 1983, fresh-faced and eager, I joined a cohort of aspiring nurses at St Mary’s Hospital in London. The allure of being paid to learn, coupled with the promise of rubbing shoulders with dashing doctors, seemed like the perfect fit for a young, ambitious girl from Lincoln. Little did I know, this decision would set me on a course of self-discovery and professional growth that would define my life’s work.

The seed was planted long before I donned my first nursing uniform. As a wide-eyed 12-year-old, I was captivated by the television series ‘Angels,’ which offered a glimpse into the world of nursing. From that moment on, I was hooked. Nursing became more than just a career choice; it was a calling—a chance to make a difference in the lives of others while forging my path in a world of healing and compassion.

But the road to becoming a nurse was far from smooth. After a brief hiatus following my father’s untimely passing, I returned to nursing in 1987, this time in Derby. Despite the setbacks and personal struggles, I persevered, fuelled by a relentless passion for helping others and a thirst for knowledge.

Fiona's first ward placement in 1984

Throughout my career, I’ve worn many hats—from working on medical wards to caring for inmates in a women’s prison. Each experience has left an indelible mark on me, shaping not only my skills as a nurse but also my understanding of the human condition.

It was during my time in haematology that I stumbled upon my niche—lymphoedema management. The complexity of the lymphatic system fascinated me, and I soon found myself drawn to the challenge of helping patients navigate this often-overlooked aspect of their health.

As a lymphoedema clinical nurse specialist, my role is not just about treating symptoms but empowering patients to take control of their health. It’s a journey of education, support, and collaboration—a chance to make a tangible difference in the lives of those grappling with chronic swelling and its myriad challenges.

Looking back on my career, I’ve learned invaluable lessons along the way. From the cruelties of dementia to the joys of community nursing, each experience has enriched my practice and deepened my appreciation for the complexities of the human body and mind.

But nursing is more than just a job—it’s a calling, a passion that burns bright even in the face of adversity. Putting on my uniform is not just a duty; it’s a privilege—a chance to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

As I look to the future of nursing, I’m filled with hope and excitement. The profession is evolving, becoming more diverse and inclusive than ever before. With advancements in education and training, nurses have unprecedented opportunities to specialise and excel in their chosen fields.

But challenges remain. The disparity in pay and the changing landscape of nurse training are concerns that must be addressed if we are to truly unlock the full potential of our profession.

So, to those embarking on their nursing journey, I offer this advice: Never lose sight of the reason you chose this path. Embrace the challenges, cherish the triumphs, and above all, remember the profound impact you have on the lives of those in your care. For in nursing, as in life, the greatest rewards often come from the most unexpected places.