April 12, 2021, by School of Medicine

30 at 30: Nursing in Nottingham – my journey from the 1980s to 2021

Dr Katharine Whittingham as a student nurseI came to Nottingham in 1985 to commence my nurse training at the Queen’s Medical Centre. I lived in Harvey Court nurses’ residence at the back of the hospital – now the staff car park!

When I started, my training nurses were employed by the NHS and I was a student in the Nottingham School of Nursing. We were all very were excited to be learning in one of the largest and modern teaching hospitals in the country.

I loved my training and the experiences I shared with my fellow students.  I am still friends with people from my group and it is interesting to see where our careers have taken differing paths.

Dr Katharine Whittingham at her graduationI qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1988 and I worked in a range of hospital-based clinical settings including oncology, haematology and palliative care in Nottingham. During this period, I decided I would like to commence further study and undertook a BSc Health Studies part time over 4 years.

4 years and one baby boy later I graduated and found my nursing career taking a new direction – into a diverse range of community settings.

I worked for 10 years as a Health Promotion Specialist influencing public health policy development, implementing and evaluating projects including setting up New Leaf, the Nottingham Smoking Cessation service. I also continued studying and graduated from the University of Nottingham in 1998 with a Master’s in Public Health (oh, and second baby boy).

My most recent clinical nursing post was working as a Specialist Heart Failure Nurse in Nottingham. The role involved conducting comprehensive complex patient assessments and prescribing evidence-based mediations.  Working in the role enabled me to develop specialist knowledge and expertise in heart failure and an interest in the support offered to carers of people living with heart failure.

In 2010 I commenced my role as an Assistant Professor at University of Nottingham.

Dr Katharine Whittingham smiling at the cameraDuring my time at the University, I have had the opportunity to engage in exciting opportunities including EU projects; work with the Public Health England Cardiovascular Prevention (CVD) Board working to ensure the contribution of nursing is recognised and embedded in policy and service; and collaborative work with Specialist Heart Failure Nurses at a national level. My research interest in heart failure resulted in my successful completion of a PhD in 2018.

Since I came to Nottingham in 1985 to do my nurse training, I have enjoyed all the opportunities, professionally and personally, the City has offered me over the last 35 years!

I always like to take on new challenges, the most recent of which is Open Water swimming, so I hope you enjoy all the opportunities that the University of Nottingham, Nursing and Nottingham has to offer you.

By Dr Katharine Whittingham, RGN, MPH, PGCHE ,PhD 

Posted in 30 Years of NursingAlumni