Improving services for older people

Independent consultant Abi Masterson decided to become a nurse after taking a Saturday job at a local care home. Since then she has been a nurse, teacher and researcher, and last year was appointed deputy chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation

Independent consultant Abi Masterson decided to become a nurse after taking a Saturday job at a local care home. Since then she has been a nurse, teacher and researcher, and last year was appointed deputy chief executive of the Florence Nightingale Foundation. Here, she talks about her career to date and what drives her to improve services for older people.

Abstract

Abi Masterson has clear and simple advice for newly qualified older people’s nurses: ‘Aim high, never settle for second best and never stop believing you can change the world.’

Given her strong ambitions and extensive nursing career, it is surprising to learn that Ms Masterson had not always planned to become a nurse. She had been set on reading law at university, but at the age of 16, she got a Saturday job at Duncraggan Nursing Home, in Newport-on-Tay. She enjoyed it immediately and changed her subject choice to secure the necessary entrance qualifications.

‘I thought it would be a Saturday job to help me earn money rather than a career, but I absolutely loved it,’ she recalls. ‘I enjoyed getting to know the residents and learning about their lives.’

Ms Masterson trained at Edinburgh University on one of the first nursing degree programmes. When she qualified, there were no jobs available at the local hospital so she worked as a bank staff nurse.

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This article was first published in print under the original title 'Making a difference' in Nursing Older People: volume 28, issue 2

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