South West is the best place to be an NHS nurse

The South West is the best part of England in which to be an NHS nurse, according to new research.

It comes out top of the seven English regions, in an analysis based on factors from vacancy and sickness rates to property prices.

The South West did particularly well for staff morale and the feeling among nurses that they are recognised and rewarded, as captured by the annual NHS staff survey.

The South West’s Regional Chief Nurse, Sue Doheny, said: “It’s great to have recognition of the South West as the best region of England to be a nurse. I’m sure everyone could argue about the stats and their relative importance, but when it comes to the critical areas of morale and professional recognition, we’re right up there.

“And there isn’t even a mention of quality of life and the amazing landscape that form the backdrop to nursing here, and which we know are such a big draw for so many staff.

One nurse who is glad she joined the NHS in the South West is Hannah Welbourne.

Hannah relocated to the South West a decade ago, starting on the wards of North Bristol NHS Trust as a sister in orthopaedics where she worked for six years, later taking on the post of Practice Development Nurse (PDN).

Hannah said: “I chose nursing after a stint working in a care home where I was inspired by the care I saw given by those who worked there to the residents.

“As a nurse you have the chance to make a difference to tens of thousands of lives. You’re not only helping the patients get back to their baseline, or as close to their baseline, but you are also their advocate, supporting them and their families through challenging times. It is 100 percent a privilege to be a nurse.

“It’s an amazing place to be. I’ve met so many wonderful people here, they are so friendly and supportive, and that’s everyone from the people on the wards to the Trust managers.”