South Yorkshire nurse celebrates 50 years at the NHS

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A Yorkshire nurse and education specialist is marking 50 years in the NHS this month.

The England football team had just won the World Cup in 1966 when a nervous, but excited 16 year-old Sue Sparks became a cadet nurse at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, hoping to be the next Florence Nightingale.

Over the next 18 years she worked in a variety of specialisms including paediatrics, cerebro-vascular and haemo-dialysis, before taking up a health visitor role with Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), where she still works today.

Sue’s career path with RDaSH took a different turn in 1999 when she became involved in research, education and development. She has been the RDaSH Head of Education since 2002 and during this time she has gone from nurse to doctor after receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Healthcare Leadership from BPP University, London.

In 2015 she picked up the Leadership Award at the Talent for Care Regional Awards, which are run by Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber to celebrate best practice in education, training and workforce development in the NHS.

Sue said: “Looking back, I’ve had an amazing journey and met some truly inspirational people.

“I have lots of stories to tell, which my team regularly have to put up with!

“I still feel as proud and committed to the NHS as I was all those years ago, and even though my career path has led me into education, I’m still passionate about improving patient care.”

Sue added: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all my friends, family and colleagues who have supported me throughout my wonderful career.”