We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Celia, a trainee, advance nurse practitioner in cancer care who we helped place in her current role at Southampton General Hospital.

Celia, with the help of Kate Cowhig Recruitment relocated from her home country to the UK, to pursue her career in nursing. When the interviews we were holding for nursing positions throughout the UK were in progress, Celia was fortunate enough to already be in work. However, since finishing her university degree, Celia told us she had always “had a passion for oncology” but since graduating had realised that it would be “impossible” to pursue this passion in her home country. This along with the Kate Cowhig team’s enthusiasm and support helped her turn “the idea of going abroad” into a reality.

Celia’s Thoughts on Relocating to the UK

A few famous UK landmarks and icons well worth visiting if you decide relocating to the UK is something you would like to do…

“The idea of going abroad was just an idea until I decided to do the interview and all the {Kate Cowhig] team, with no exception started giving me a lot of positive energy” and the chance of working at a hospital really important in oncology and the possibility of choosing what I wanted to do began to sink in…
“They [Kate Cowhig] have been a major support during all the process and even after as I started as a staff nurse and now, as an Oncology ANP, I am still in touch with them”.
We asked Celia if there was any advice or information she wished she had known before she went through the process of relocating to the UK and starting her new role as a staff nurse. She said:
Probably yes, when you decide to go to another country, to a different job in a different culture there is never enough information. I received a lot of emails that helped me getting ready: people I could speak to, to find a house, what department I was going to work in what, books to read and get ready, and they [Kate Cowhig] made a [Facebook] group including all the people from abroad who were going to the same hospital as me, in order to make it easier but, even with all of that, it was still a cultural shock for at least a month”.
The advice Celia would give to other nurses and healthcare professionals looking to relocate to the UK is to “travel with a very open mind”. She remarks that hospitals in the UK “work in a different way” although “the support they give to every new professional is unbelievable”. “Embrace that difference, with all the goods they can offer”.
On top of that, Celia thinks that “it is useful to know someone” when you are relocating to a new country, whether this is a friend or not it doesn’t matter but having someone to share the experience with makes it easier. Celia travelled to the UK with another nurse she met during the interviews with Kate Cowhig. Celia said that “having here at home the first month was a good relief and if you have someone to support you, you can fight together to get through the experience”.

Working in Oncology and Cancer Care

Celia has found many successes in her nursing career in the UK. She is now on a two year training course for a new role that is being developed at the hospital she is now with, so she is currently working and studying hard in the university to gain all her competencies. We asked her to briefly describe an average day as an advance nurse practitioner (ANP) to help other aspiring cancer car nurses decided if this is the role for them.
“ANPs work as a key point of contact between doctors and nurses. I am based in the ward I started working on as a band 5 when I first started working in the UK. When on the ward, if any help is needed with cancer care procedures, chemotherapy or the admission of a new patient, as an ANP you are there to help with that. If a patient is poorly you are expected to make a plan, take the first steps and make the necessary phone calls.
As well as working on the ward, I work in an Acute Oncology Service which is an emergency service for oncology patients where any oncology patient on treatment, can phone if they have any doubts about their treatment of well-being. Through this service we can as them to come to us to be examined and to discuss treatments. We give them the reassurance they need at home. It is very helpful for them and they avoid unnecessary visits to the hospital and get the specialised care they need when a hospital visit is necessary”.
We asked Celia if there were any key skills you need to be a successful ANP like her but she feels that success as an ANP is more dependent on attitude rather than skills.
“You can learn the techniques and you can be more or less experienced depending on your years and the field of practice, but the attitude is something they cannot teach you and they really appreciate”.

A Happy Ending

After her experience working alongside Kate Cowhig and relocating to the UK, Celia is now settled in a successful nursing career and she said she is thankful to have the opportunity to do what she was dreaming of doing within just one year after arriving to the UK!
She notes that although relocating to the UK “was a mix of sensations, a mix of feelings, leaving everyone following a feeling not knowing who are you going to live with, who are your colleagues or if you will love or hate the job. It’s difficult to get used to everything new but, it´s a lovely experience where you learn a lot about yourself and about the others and you open your mind being very welcome”.
“The good things won the bad ones, that is why I’m still here!!”
Here are her final reflections on her experience working with the Kate Cowhig Recruitment team:
There are really competent people around KCR and they will solve your doubts and they will advise you. I did other interviews with other agencies and now if I want a career change, KCR will be my first and only option.
They have always treated me as a person, not as a number.
Thank you very much for all your support.
You too can relocate to a new country with the help of Kate Cowhig to purse you career in nursing. We are experts in helping with relocating to the UK, Ireland and the Middle East so you can rest assured you will be in safe hands.
We are currently looking for nurses to work in roles at the following hospitals:

We also have numerous vacancies at NHS hospitals throughout the UK and Qatar; visit the Kate Cowhig website now to find your next career move. All you need to do is register and upload your CV to begin applying. We look forward to working with you.


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