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  • Writer's pictureChristie Roberts


Updated: Jan 22, 2023

If you follow me on instagram or twitter (@christienursing on both), you'll already know this news. If you don't, then here goes...

I have left nursing. Quit the NHS, taken myself off the NMC register.

It was one of the most brutal decisions I've ever made and wasn't a decision that I made lightly. My health (physical and mental) has been fairly awful in 2022 particularly, with 3 ICU admissions this year and countless other days spent in hospital or in a state of crisis. I've not worked clinically since February following my initial ICU admission and have been liaising with occupational health to try and figure out a safe path to get back to doing what I love- working as a research nurse, with my lovely hepatology team. Unfortunately, we couldn't come to an agreement that we all felt satisfied with. I'd known that this was a possibility for a while but kept pushing as far back in my brain as possible.

I felt the conditions that occ health were asking from me would add a huge amount of stress, and probably make my mental health worse. Plus the contributing factor of my NMC revalidation being due at the start of September was providing additional pressures, and I didn't feel comfortable ticking that box to say that I'm fit to practice as a nurse if I wasn't working clinically, and likely wouldn't be for the foreseeable.

So, I let my registration lapse. I handed in notice to my amazing team. I went and collected my things from the office, and cried an embarassing amount in the car park afterwards.

I'm definitely still grieving the closure of this chapter of my life. I never thought I would be in this position, after giving 6 years of my life to training and working as a nurse, to then not be able to call myself a nurse anymore? It's strange. I feel like I've lost part of my identity. There are days when I feel totally consumed by this grief- with feelings of failure that I couldn;t make it work. With anger at my body and brain that seem to be working against me most of the time. With boredom as I sit at home doing not a lot with my life. With jealousy at seeing all the nurses I qualified with absolutely smashing their careers.

But it's not all doom and gloom! Since leaving, I've had some really productive conversations with various people, and been able to spend time with myself figuring out what I'm going to do with my life now. I've got some part time work with the CQC sorted as an expert by experience, and am still applying for interesting sounding part time jobs. I'm starting some voluntary work with a mental health charity. I've had the time to write a chapter of a textbook for student nurses that's going to be oublished hopefully in 2023. Most excitingly, I'm going back to uni! I start studying for a Masters in Public Health in a few short weeks- excited and nervous don't even cover it. And, of course, there's always the possiblity of going back on the register in a year. 2 years, 5 years, 10 years... whenever I decide that I'm ready to start paying £120 a year to do my job again.

I'm in the most flexible time of my life EVER at the moment. And at times, it's a really overwhelming concept- there are so many possible paths leading out of this moment, and how will I know which one is the right one? And the answer is that I won't know which ones are the right ones until I start walking down that path. I'll probably get it wrong sometimes, but at the moment it all seems to be going okay (touch wood).

All my love,

Christie x

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