Nursing Real Lives

Empowering the next generation of nurses

Angela Cowley

Angela Cowley, nurse at Drovers Call care home in Gainsborough, was truly born to care for people.  After retiring, Angela wasn’t ready or willing to give up her passion for nursing.  She found herself taking a job at Drovers Call, a Knights Care Home, the job has turned out to be very different to what she was expecting!

They say that you only have to speak to some people to understand that they were born to care for others.  Angela Cowley is definitely one of these people.  She began her amazing nursing career 40 years ago as a nurse at what is now Bassetlaw Hospital.  Following a stint working with the Ministry of Defence (Angela’s husband was in the RAF) Angela went back to Bassetlaw to specialise in geriatric care.  Once the geriatric ward at the hospital closed, she became a community nurse, racking up over 100 miles a day to visit and care for people in her region.

Angela was inspired by her time in community nursing, visiting people in their homes to help with a wide range of roles – from dressings and bandages to palliative care.  The opportunity to make a difference was huge and as Angela says ‘no day was the same’ with the broad spectrum of responsibilities she had.  Community nursing also stood Angela in good stead for what was to come later in her career, at Drovers Call.

Angela retired at 55 from the NHS, but couldn’t imagine stopping work altogether.  She tried to work in an office but disliked the feeling that she couldn’t truly make a difference and soon found herself back working part time for the NHS.

Soon after going back part time, Angela saw an advert for the job at Drovers Call.

“I saw the advert for the job at Drovers Call care home and almost viewed it as an opportunity to take a step back from the hectic pace of community nursing’” Angela says,

“I thought it would mean less responsibility and would probably be less challenging, but I’ve been proved very wrong there! I have the opportunity to help, just as I did when I was a community nurse and I also have the broad spectrum of responsibilities I had before – which is what I love!”

In addition to Angela’s nursing work, she has also spent the last four years at Drovers Call working to support the student nurses who come to the care home for placement.  Angela quickly became a mentor for the nurse associates and empowered them to take charge and make decisions, under her guidance.

“Angela shares her wealth of knowledge with our student nurses and associates, she’s currently teaching our nurse associates all about wound care and the different risks associated with this”,  says Care Home Manager, Wendy Grimwood.

“She leads by example and is a very well-liked member of our team.”

Angela’s empathic personality shines through and seeing her interact with Drovers Call residents is truly inspirational to all of the student nurses and associates.  Even when Angela is busy with her nursing responsibilities, she will spend time with residents who just want a little chat.

Angela’s advice to young nurses and what she would have said to her younger self?  “Believe in yourself, you can go as far as you want to go.”  It’s easy to see why this incredible lady is so good at empowering the next generation!!

Angela’s empathy and nursing work along with her motivation to empower and teach the next generation of nurses, is why she is now a finalist in the Social Care Nurse category in The Great British Care Awards.  She is a very valued member of the Knights Care team.

Edel Harris





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