Rachel Johnson Purdy
An Inspiring journey into nursing
Rachel Johnson Purdy is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in our Acute Medicine Unit at Fairfield General. Rachel’s journey into nursing started with her own experience as a patient’s family member. The care received from the nursing team was a massive support to all involved and this inspired her to start what would become a fantastic demonstration of determination and dedication to the profession.
Rachel left school with no qualifications and originally started working with children with learning disabilities, as time went on Rachel began to want more of a caring/nursing role. Doing a placement on a Medical Admissions Unit was the catalyst she needed and she enrolled onto a 3 year nursing diploma through Manchester University.
Her first official nursing role was at The Christie however a chance meeting with the senior nurses from the Fairfield A&E team saw her hand in her notice and join Pennine. When asked what it was about that meeting that encouraged her to move, Rachel explains ‘It was both managers. They were so enthusiastic about their department and what they wanted to achieve. It was clear that there were lots of opportunities to develop and the support would be there to see this through, it was an easy decision to make. It wasn’t long after joining that I was supported through a development programme and while in this role Pennine were fantastic in supporting me to convert my diploma into a nursing degree where I qualified with a First class (Hons). I thought it was a joke when I received my results, I couldn’t believe it, the team at Pennine helped make that possible for me.’
Working on A&E was a brilliant experience for Rachel however commitments in her home life meant that shift work was becoming more difficult to manage so she moved on to work as a district nurse and worked at walk in centres for the local PCT for a while before returning back to Pennine in 2010. At this stage she secured an ANP training post and undertook the clinical Masters degree. Rachel was based at Rochdale Infirmary’s Urgent Care Centre until 12 months ago, before moving to the AMU at Fairfield to further develop her medical knowledge.
When asked what made Rachel keep coming back to Pennine, she explains ‘The support and opportunities to develop are amazing. I’ve been so lucky and had some brilliant medical mentors throughout my time here. As an ANP I have my own dedicated consultant mentor and am regularly involved in learning opportunities involving things I would have never imagined I’d be capable of before. Through the support of Pennine I’ve obtained my prescribing qualification, my first class (Hons) degree and my masters, not bad for a girl who left school with nothing!’
Rachel’s advice to nurses looking to progress to ANP’s ‘Don’t rush in, get good experience to make sure you have a breadth of knowledge and experience beforehand’ and for newly qualified nurses ‘get the foundations right, use the support network around you and don’t let anyone ever tell you, you can’t achieve something. You can do whatever you want to do as long as you’re determined to do it.’