Posted on: 13 May 2021

To mark International Nurses Day, we spoke with Nana Yaw Sarpong, a soon-to-be Community Psychiatrist Nurse (CPN) at Harrow Collaborative Sphere Community Mental Health Hub. Although he is yet to practice as a qualified nurse, Nana wants to inspire others and share the reasons why he decided to make a career change.

“I actually have a statistics background as I graduated with a BSc in Maths & Statistics,” he says. “I made the decision to enter the nursing field because of two reasons. One was the satisfaction and joy I see in my wife’s eyes when she comes back from work (you’re probably guessing what she does – she’s a nurse).

“The second reason is that a relative who is very dear to me had a mental breakdown. I was amazed by the clinical team’s involvement in his care, especially the nurse who visited and supported him by providing relapse prevention and condition management interventions as well as encouragement to engage with other services.

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Nana has thoroughly enjoyed his time as a student nurse, particularly within community settings.

“During my first placement in a rehabilitation unit I would go around and greet everyone including the service users. One particular service user revealed they were always on the lookout for me to come and say hello because this greeting brought motivation and encouragement. It has become a memory that I treasure.”

Having to undergo his professional training in the midst of a pandemic has been a challenging experience for Nana, but the spirit of togetherness and support he has received inspired him to apply for a position at the Harrow Mental Health Hub.

“The Covid-19 outbreak has made me appreciate the importance of relationships. I cherish every moment spent with our service users and their families as well as my colleagues,” he says. “The support and encouragement we get from each other has been shown throughout the pandemic, which is really uplifting and always makes me feel part of a team.

“If you have the right attitude and want to make a difference in people’s lives… then I encourage you to get the necessary training to become a nurse, you won’t regret it.”

When asked what makes a CNWL nurse unique, he said:

“CNWL offer great support, opportunities to broaden one’s horizons, fantastic colleagues, flexible working hours, great leadership, fantastic development and more importantly, one is equipped to give the best patient care.”