Louise Dowell is proof that anything’s possible in nursing as we celebrated International Nurses Day and she looks forward to retirement next month.
The international celebration marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale who founded what we consider today to be modern nursing while a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, nearly 100 years before the NHS was founded.
Louise started her nurse training in 1987 and worked at several hospitals, including Leeds, Plymouth and Taunton. Along the way, she gained qualifications and experience in cardiac nursing which ultimately led to Blackpool’s own highly regarded service in 2004.
Since moving to Blackpool, Louise has been clinical risk manager, head of occupational health, clinical governance lead for maternity and children’s services, assistant divisional director of nursing and most recently Divisional Director of Nursing for the Families and Integrated Community Care.
Louise said nursing could be challenging but that she always felt supported when moving into senior roles, both by her managers and the teams that she has worked with.
A personal highlight was gaining a master’s degree in law.
“I am really proud of my nursing and academic achievements,” she said. “Studying law while balancing home life and work challenges was not easy but I have always been supported by friends, family and colleagues.”
Having a work life balance has been an important factor for Louise over the years and the flexible working of the NHS has allowed her to lead a fulfilling personal life as well as build a professional career.
“In 2014, I cycled across America from Virginia Beach on the east coast to Seattle on the west, over 4,000 miles in 52 days, averaging about 100km per day. We saw grizzlies, moose, wild turkeys, bison and much, much more! This is something I’ll never forget.”
Reflecting on her career, she said: “Nursing has many paths both within the hospital and community, you will meet so many people, learn so much and have the opportunity to experience a long and successful career.”
… now share your NHS75 story
We’re counting down the 75 days to the 75th anniversary of the founding of the NHS on 5 July – and Trust colleagues, patients and the local community can all take part.
We also want to hear what you love about the NHS as well as your stories and memories – and thank you to everyone who has been in touch so far.
- How has the NHS changed you or your family’s life for the better?
- Do you have pictures of times past at our hospitals and sites you’d like to share?
- Did you have family or friends who were with the NHS at its start in 1948?
- What inspired you to work in the NHS?
- Tell us if you are just one of many generations to work in the NHS