Nurse who enjoyed a career that took her all over world retires

Published: 13 Dec 2012 13:000 comments

A retirement presentation was held recently to mark the early retirement of Norah Conway - whose career in the nursing profession took her to the United States of America and to parts of Europe.

Norah Conway.<<

The Fermanagh woman's nursing career began as a nursing auxiliary in Florence Elliott House, Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast in 1975.

She started general nursing training in Belfast City Hospital and became a staff nurse on a Surgical Ward. Midwifery training at Royal Maternity Hospital was followed by a post as a Neonatal Intensive Care Midwife in Royal Maternity.

In 1982, Norah was accepted by the prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York to work in its neonatal intensive care unit. Norah combined this with agency nursing in several New York hospitals including Columbia - Presbyterian, Lennox-Hill, and Doctors Hospital and with patients in their own homes. On her return to Northern Ireland, work followed as a health visitor in Fermanagh and Tyrone.

Norah began a health visiting contract with NATO dependants in Germany and Holland, after which she re-commenced working as a health visitor in Fermanagh and retired earlier this year.

Last year, she completed a course with NSPCC and has been volunteering with the organisation and other agencies.

One of her favourite volunteering experiences has been at Enniskillen Agricultural College with Riding for the Disabled and it has revived memories of her upbringing on the family farm; she also treasures the activity's great atmosphere of cooperation, friendliness and fun and games.

Throughout her travels in the USA and Europe, Norah says she felt very privileged and fortunate to have a very good Northern Irish education and training which included a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Psychology from Queen's University.

She reflects on the excellent educational opportunities, and she acknowledges the nursing, midwifery and health promotion training that she received. "Working in New York and Europe exposed one to many different cultures and different challenges - a good educational experience in Northern Ireland proved invaluable," felt Norah.

Her colleagues presented her with £185, which she rounded off to £200 and made presentations to two of her favourite charities - NSPCC and the British Red Cross. They were represented by Melanie Little, of the local NSPCC committee, and Nathan Chambers, Ambulance Service British Red Cross.

Norah says she is hugely impressed by the NSPCC and felt that the money would help some of its very important work in society; she also took the opportunity to pay tribute to Nathan Chambers "for his dedication to community cardiac services".

In addition, she acknowledges her late parents, Harry and Celine Conway and feels that "the truly Christian values and the social inclusion" practised by them "were always like a beacon of hope and inspiration".

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