Helping to set up a military health clinic in The Yemen, meeting Mother Teresa, and mentoring students here in Lincolnshire are just someof Julie’s career highlights that she can now look back on fondly following her retirement two weeks ago.
Julie’s role as a respiratory complex case manager with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), was based at Louth County Hospital where she enjoyed a special farewell party on September 30.
Julie told the Leader: “I have had an amazing time here at LCHS. I have had the pleasure of working with lots of like-minded people and such wonderful and courageous respiratory patients.
“It’s going to be a huge change to retire, but it is time to take a breath and give myself time to go and do something nice.”
After joining the Army as a nurse at 17, Julie’s 46-year career took her all over the world, including being a midwife’s assistant in Germany.
In 1989, her military connections gave her the opportunity to set up a clinic for the American Embassy in Sana’a for the marines.
It was here that she met Mother Teresa, who was visiting a leper colony near to the clinic where Julie worked.
Over the years, Julie has worked in many nursing homes, and it was one such home that brought Julie to Lincolnshire.
Julie had already developed a keen interest in education, having been one of the first students to undertake a gerontology nursing degree module and successfully apply for a Florence Nightingale scholarship.
She undertook opportunities to study at John Hopkins University in the United States of America and present some of her work on nursing people with dementia in Japan.
Her research was influenced by caring for her own mother and, in 2010, she became a Queen’s Nurse.
Julie said: “Everything I have done has been inspired by a patient or by the experiences I have had.
“It’s important to remember every day why we aspired to be a nurse - it’s about the patients, no matter who they are.”
“If you enjoy something, it’s no effort at all and that is how I feel about nursing.”