Retraining as a Nurse later in life: Julie's nursing career journey

17 May 2021

Julie is a registered nurse at Fairburn Mews

In her fourties, Julie decided that she was ready for a career change. She had been working in retail as a manager of a shop, but was craving for something different. When local care home, Fairburn Mews, first opened in 2006, she applied for a role as a Health Care Assistant. Since then, Julie has retrained as a Registered Nurse (RGN) and is now a Unit Manager at the home in Castleford.

Julie started working at Fairburn Mews as a Health Care Assistant, supporting adults living with complex needs.

A natural organiser, Julie found herself helping the Manager to support colleagues and plan work on the unit, and she quickly progressed to become the first Team Leader at the home.

Starting a nursing career

Julie had always been interested in nursing, but thought that she was too old to become a Nurse.

After being encouraged by her colleagues to consider a role in nursing, Julie did some research and found that she qualified to apply to university – and before long, she started her training, aged 45.

First nursing job

Julie continued to work on bank at the home, and when she qualified in 2012, returned to a permanent position at

Fairburn Mews as a newly qualified Nurse. Julie loves working as a Nurse in social care: “My favourite part of the job is working directly with our service users and making their every day better,” she says.

“And it’s nice being able to work closer to home – I have a much better work life balance.”

Promotion to Unit Manager

Julie’s commitment to the role and her own development led to her next promotion to Unit Manager of the Lowrie unit, which specialises in supporting people with Huntington’s disease.

Since, the unit has achieved accreditation from the Huntington’s Disease Association and is the first and only home in England to have achieved this status – which is a great achievement for Julie in her career.

Julie shares: "I realised that the fears I had about starting a new career later in life were actually what helped me the most as a Nurse. The life experience that I have is different to someone fresh out of university. For those thinking of switching careers later in life – do it! It’s incredibly rewarding to pursue a dream I’ve had all my life. This is the proof that age really is just a number." 

Nursing careers in social care

Working as a Nurse with Exemplar Health Care is an extremely rewarding role. We know that the best Nurses are happy nurses, so we want our people to thrive professionally, but most importantly, enjoy being part of our team.

As a Nurse in one of our care homes, you’ll work with like-minded colleagues, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, to provide the highest standards of nursing care for our residents who are living with complex needs. And as a thank you, we offer great rewards and benefits, lots of learning and development opportunities, and health and wellbeing support. 

Read more about working with us, and find your perfect role today