Publish date: 9 May 2024

International Nurses Day - In conversation with Marie Harrison

It might sound cliché but I’ve always known I Photograph o a woman wearing a nurses uniform.wanted to be a nurse. I’ve always loved caring for people and I’m always known as the ‘Nurturing one’ of the group and because of this I knew that nursing was the right career for me.

I studied nursing at Northumbria University and completed my placement at Wansbeck General Hospital. I qualified as a nurse in 2001 and began working for Northumbria Healthcare. I worked as a nurse on the intensive care unit for 16 years before moving into the respiratory team and then being promoted to lead respiratory specialist nurse in 2022. I lead a team of six and we cover all hospital sites in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

We provide specialist care to people with respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis. As part of this care we’re there to support and advise our patients on treatment options and to educate and support patients to self-manage their disease.

One of the greatest achievements of my career was during covid when I worked on the intensive care unit. Being pulled into a difficult environment and not knowing what to expect every day was incredibly challenging but it was also a rewarding time where we all pulled together to make it through the difficult times.

I love being a nurse as helping others is my main goal in life. I love connecting with people from all walks of life and making a positive impact on patients lives. You might not think it but some of the smallest things like being there to hold someone’s hand can make a huge difference.

I think it’s important to recognise International Nurses Day as it’s important for nurses to feel valued and appreciated. It’s also brilliant to shine a spotlight on a fantastic career and inspire our future workforce.