Olwen Morgan’s nursing career started in Carmarthen, West Wales, in 1987. Since then, she’s worked across Wales and explored and developed skills in contrasting specialties. Olwen’s journey has given her a huge sense of fulfilment – and it’s one that continues to delight today.
“Being a nurse is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be, ever since I was a little girl and being a nurse in Wales brings its own unique joy. My three years of training in Carmarthen was a very happy experience. It enthused me and prepared me to the point where I couldn’t wait to be a fully qualified staff nurse. When I then became a staff nurse, I was able to fully care for my patients with confidence, as my training had enabled me to be entirely sound, safe, and good at my job.
"I believe that at its core, nursing is still very hands-on, and the basics of the profession haven’t changed. What has changed is the technology and science – the world in which we operate – but the ‘Art of Nursing’ is the same now as it’s always been. I feel lucky to have worked in Wales for all this time. I’ve worked in Carmarthen, Cardiff, Swansea and Neath and wherever I’ve worked there has always been a sense of community and belonging.
"My career has primarily criss-crossed between two specialties, namely medicine and cardio-thoracic surgery. Nursing, as a career pathway, has enabled me to change direction in this way. I started in medicine and elderly care – which gave me a wonderful grounding in terms of ‘pure’ nursing; but after six years I decided to switch direction to work in a cardiac surgical intensive care unit. That experience taught me so much. I went from expert to novice overnight. I found myself in a critical care environment and although it was terrifying at first, I got the support I needed to get to grips with things and I slowly became an expert within that specialty. That’s the wonderful thing about nursing. It gives you the opportunity to adapt and learn things you didn’t know were possible.
"I spent 10 wonderful years as Matron and then Senior Matron, at Neath Port Talbot Hospital where I was responsible for operationally leading nursing care and services. I did this with the support of my team of three Matrons and the hard-working Ward Sisters and their staff.
Currently, I am Head of Hospital Nursing, in Carmarthen. This has brought me full circle, back to my roots and the place where my nursing career began. It is wonderful to bring the wealth of experience gained over the past 34 years back ‘home’. Being able to nurture the nurses and nursing leaders of the future feels like a real privilege and I’ll never lose that passion for caring for my patients.”