A Norfolk nurse has retired today after nearly half a century in the profession, having worked across a range of hospital, community and care home settings.
Ann Chilvers, who celebrated her retirement with a party on Wednesday, will end her career as general manager at The Paddocks, a care home in Swaffham where she has spent the past eight years.
Prior to joining The Paddocks, she spent 10 years as a nurse and then manager of the nearby Holmwood House Care Centre.
Ms Chilvers began her career at the age of 16, when she became a cadet nurse at St James’ Hospital in King’s Lynn.
She joined the school of nursing at the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Hospital at 18 and qualified as a state registered nurse in 1973.
She then worked as a staff nurse on an orthopaedic ward for two years before being appointed as a sister of an elderly care ward.
It was at this point in her career that she discovered her “passion for elderly care and never looked back”, according to her daughter Gemma Chilvers, who contacted Nursing Times about her mother’s impending retirement.
She subsequently became a ward sister at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn when it opened in 1980 and, after six months, was promoted to nursing officer – a post she held for nine years.
Norfolk nurse calls it a day after 48 year career
She then held a series of roles in community settings including working as a practice nurse, a care co-ordinator for home care provider Allied Medicare and finally as a nurse at a number of local nursing homes.
Gemma said her mother was the reason she had decided become a physiotherapist herself.
“The passion my mum has for her job and the care she offers to her residents never ceases to inspire me,” she told Nursing Times.
“She feels very emotional to be leaving the nursing career as it has been a huge part of her life. However, now aged 64, my mum feels that this is now the right time,” she said.