People's History of the NHS


Portrait of Jennifer Inniss

Job Title: ‘Continuing Healthcare Nurse Assessor’

My mother and father both came from Barbados. My mother actually came over on one of the contracts to be a nurse in London. She came to London with a friend and they started their nursing training. They didn’t like it and she had lots of other issues and she didn’t complete her training, but later on in life she did become an auxiliary nurse, and did actually enjoy caring but, having then had four children she wasn’t able to go on and complete the training…

My mother was quite keen for me to be a nurse, I wasn’t so sure.

When I did decide to become a nurse I found that the only level that was offered to me was an Enrolled Nurse which was the lower grade - although I had the qualifications to be a SRN (State Registered Nurse). So I started my journey as an Enrolled Nurse. I completed that training and went into geriatrics. I then specialised in ophthalmology and then went onto the District.

On the District I completed my certificate in District Nursing and became a SEN. I got married and decided that I wanted to become a first level nurse as RGN (Registered General Nurse) so I did the conversion which was a 12 month course.

Then, having become an RGN, my nursing certificate that I had done as an SEN wasn’t valid! I then had to do the District Nurse training as a diploma. Back then, the nursing qualification was actually just a qualification and not a degree. I then had to complete my RGN as a degree. I did that in 1997.

I then went into Continuing Healthcare Nursing which I did enjoy.

One day I was just looking through some documents and I saw a course which was related to Multicultural Issues in Health and Social Care. At the time I was working in social services which bridged the gap between health care and social care, so I felt that this course suited me down to the ground: being as somebody from a multicultural area and I decided to explore the course and discovered it was Masters level.

I completed my Masters in Multicultural Issues in Health and Social Care and it was one of the best courses that I’d ever done. I went to Nigeria for my placement and I enjoyed that very much. I retired three years ago at the age of fifty-five and I now come back and do short contracts and consultancy work.

That’s my story and journey...

All photographs copyright of Inès Elsa Dalal © 2019 Commissioned by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, 2018. No photographs or text may be referenced or published elsewhere, without prior permission.

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