In mid 1969 whilst living in Bacup I found myself looking for short term employment adverts in the Manchester Evening News. I was planning to go up to Aviemore in Scotland later in the year to try my hand once again as a chef. As I read though several pages of employment opportunities, I noticed adverts for nurse training at Rochdale and Manchester.
Did I want to be a nurse? I was not sure. Did I still want to work as a chef, well I was not even sure about that. This was typical of me at this period in my life. I had already tried my hand at eight different careers in four years. So what did I do, well I applied for entry into nurse training at both hospitals. Both said yes to my application. But Birch Hill Hospital at Rochdale, said we can not offer you the opportunity to train as a state registered nurse until October 69. Whereas Springfield Hospital at Manchester said we are not able to offer you training until Oct 69 and like Rochdale I would have to take a test to see if academically I was up to the demands of the training schedule: but please could I start work tomorrow as a ancillary nurse. I said Yes. Well I soon found that I enjoyed my role as a mental health ancillary nurse. Fortunately a few weeks later I sat and passed the multiple question test which then allowed me to enter the hospitals nurse training school.
I qualified as a RMN (registered mental nurse) in October 1972. It was not until 1979 that I would take up training to register as a SRN (state registered nurse).