Nursing Opinion

From Hospital to Homes – Why Nursing in Care is so Rewarding

Jacqui Gregg, Operations Manager, Nicholas James Care Homes

Nicholas James Care Homes and Regal Care Trading (NJCH) are group of 29 Nursing, Residential and Learning Disability Homes throughout England. An established and family orientated provider the Company Ethos is reflected in all areas of the services they offer. They provide Meaningful Person Centred and Resident Led, Happy and Secure Environments where promoting Independence, Dignity and Individuality is a priority. The group has 8 Nursing Homes with dedicated and qualified Nursing and Care teams who are committed to providing care that’s centred, on a meaningful and active lifestyle.

As groups Operations Manager, my 37 years of nursing experience plays a significant role within the group. I qualified in 1982 and worked within NHS for 17 years and admit that during my time working in hospitals my opinion of Care Homes wasn’t positive from the “bad press” and patients from care homes on the wards.

It wasn’t until I moved to a different area that I first took a position as a “temporary stop gap” in a Nursing home. I remember my first few weeks; I was shocked that my hospital safety net had gone. No doctors to hand if I had any concerns, no other nurses apart from the manager. I settled into my new role, gradually finding out that there was a vast amount of rules, regulations, contracts and policies.

Despite this I found the care home world gave was so rewarding and gave me so much more than I’d ever expected. Unlike the hospital environment I discovered I was able to put my own stamp on care. Residents’ social lives, staff training, giving staff and residents a voice to share their ideas was so empowering and something that wasn’t achievable within the hospitals.  I also found I was able to make a real difference to the daily lives of the residents, making them person centred, meaningful and enjoyable.

I have now worked for NJCH & RCT for 13 years and have progressed within the company from Nursing Manager, to Regional Manager and now Operations Manager. During this time I feel I have been able to make a significant impact, and,  along with the groups C.E.O and Founder Kan Rajakanthan, we have imbedded the group’s ethos throughout the service.

The team of managers that we have within our company have the same outlook, enjoying innovations and making the best of the lives of people in our care. The team have gained awards in recognition of what they do and none of us plan on stopping there. We want to continue to make a difference, and we do.

In recent years I have been lucky to be involved in a number of projects within the group.  I have led the development of the group’s new electronic care plan software and have also worked with other senior managers to devise a virtual multimedia training tool.

I am passionate about social care and pushing the boundaries and expectations of what a stereotypical care home should be.  I encourage staff to become qualified nurses, to grow and work their way up in the care home group. I would urge anyone who is interested in the care home sector to see what a rewarding job this can be.

As a group Nicholas James Care Homes and Regal Care Trading have a long history of supporting their care and nursing teams to progress within the group. They offer fantastic career opportunities, progressive training and the opportunity to make a difference. Supporting and encourage their teams to think outside of the box, creating new and innovative initiatives.

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