“If you are keen to make a positive difference to peoples’ lives, if you want a role with real job satisfaction and if you want a varied, rewarding and challenging career, nursing could well be for you,” says Adelaide Atu, a Senior Sister and Ward Manager at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

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Adelaide’s comments come as part of the latest ‘We are the NHS’ campaign, to encourage a new cohort of people to consider a career in the health service.

Now in its third year, ‘We are the NHS’ shines a light on 350 of the most in-demand roles in the NHS; all varied, exciting and challenging in equal measures.

As a Senior Sister and Ward Manager, Adelaide Atu leads a team of 34 staff. She is passionate about being a mentor, a source of inspiration and support to her colleagues and is keen to encourage members of the Black community to consider a career in the NHS too.

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Speaking about her role, Adelaide says: “As a Senior Sister, it’s my job to ensure that patients are being cared for and that my team is being nurtured. I enjoy leading by example and despite having many responsibilities in the day-to-day running of the ward, I’m always mindful of the fact that nurses in the NHS touch lives at times of basic human need, when care and compassion are what matter most – that’s why the place I enjoy being in most is the ward with patients.”

“I can truly say from my own experience that this is only hearsay, that the reality is that if you work hard, show a genuine interest and passion in your job and demonstrate initiative, doors will be open.” 

Addressing some of the concerns people have about the nursing profession, Adelaide said: “Whilst there is a lot of love and respect for the nursing profession within the African community, I think some people are put off because of concerns of a lack of career progression and ideas that Black nurses face challenges in this realm. I can truly say from my own experience that this is only hearsay, that the reality is that if you work hard, show a genuine interest and passion in your job and demonstrate initiative, doors will be open.” 

Having worked hard to attain her senior management position, Adelaide, who is from an African background talked about how her family are very supportive of her career in the health service and how she would like to see more Black people join the NHS.

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Adelaide Atu, a Senior Sister and Ward Manager at Milton Keynes University Hospital

“My family are very proud and encouraging of my achievements so far, in fact many of my siblings are also in the medical profession.”

“It’s true that there are less people from minority backgrounds in management positions, however, it’s only by more Black and minority ethnic people entering the profession that we can affect change from within.”

This year, candidates for university courses relevant for nursing have access to a support system to guide them step by step through the application process, alongside tailored support. Furthermore, grants of between £5,000 to £8,000 are available.


Search ‘NHS Careers’ or visit www.nhs.uk/nursing-careers for more information and to find out about the range of nursing roles available within the NHS. 

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