A NURSE has been praised by her colleagues and residents at an assisted living residence for her commitment to her profession for half a century.

Jackie Kellett, a senior registered nurse at Charlotte Straker House, has recently celebrated an extraordinary milestone that is 50 years since she first started nursing.

Jackie's journey in nursing began in January 1974 with her first job training as an orthopaedic nurse at the Sanderson Hospital in Gosforth.

Jackie said, “In those days we had to wear the proper nurses’ uniform, which was a white “butterfly” hat and dress with a white apron!”

Jackie moved to Hexham hospital to train as a general nurse in 1976 and then on the spinal ward. After that she joined Charlotte Straker House. After a short break working at Wentworth Grange as a night nurse, Jackie returned to Charlotte Straker and has been here ever since.

Jackie said, “It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a nurse for 50 years – it feels phenomenal. Looking back, I think the thing I’ve most enjoyed is meeting so many different people and getting the opportunity to make a difference to their care.

"My special interest is in end-of-life care, and I’m absolutely passionate about every resident we nurse being comfortable, dignified and pain free.

"I’ve also really enjoyed training new students and seeing them become more confident in their nursing careers. And of course, I’ve worked with a great bunch of people and some of them have become lifelong friends.”

Pam Crawley, registered manager added “Jackie advocates and upholds the values we hold at Charlotte Straker House: compassion, integrity and a commitment to excellence.

"She has particular expertise in end-of-life care and is a true expert at comforting and guiding families of those residents who have passed away.

"She has also had a big impact on the next generation of healthcare professionals as she has helped mentor and train many new nurses.

"We’re very lucky to have her, and the whole management team would like to thank her for being such a valuable part of our nursing team at Charlotte Straker House.”