Emma McGowan

Emma decided she wanted to be a nurse after her father died of cancer. She qualified in 2007 and has progressed her career without compromising on the things that drew her to nursing in the first place. Emma says:

“I had planned to be a teacher. I had a place at University but decided not to go after seeing my father die of cancer. My move into nursing was a decision based on emotion. I qualified as an adult nurse initially and then became a community nurse. Then I completed my district nursing degree a few years ago.

"I received amazing support from my line manager to get where I am today. She supported my decision to complete my district nurse degree in under 12 months and endorsed my study leave in order to achieve this. Although it was an intense year it actually turned out to be a great option for me, as my children were at that age where I had more time to focus on my career.

"I loved the degree and I’ve just moved up from a Band 6 district nurse to Band 7, which means I’m now a sister with the potential to move into management. But regardless of level, the single best thing about being a nurse where I am is having the time to provide the kind of quality care that attracted me to nursing originally. We have safe staffing levels in the community hospital here, with only seven or eight patients per nurse. This means the level of care we’re able to provide is extremely high.

"I’ve been based in Powys my whole career. The Brecon Beacons are on my doorstep and it’s great to bring up the children in an area that offers such a great work-life balance. Everyone is so friendly and we have a fantastic community spirit. Even on my ward, if people don’t know each other they soon become friends.

"I’d recommend nursing to anyone who’s serious about it, especially in Wales. As I’ve found out, nursing is a genuine career option these days. I’ve forged a good career at a pace that’s suited me and I’ve learnt you can always rely on support to help you reach your goals.”