Posted on: 11 May 2021

Nellie Kamau, a mental health nurse, and Deputy Lead Nurse for Offender Care, shares her story ahead of International Nurses Day.

Nellie’s first job was as a stage artist, encouraging behaviour change in relation to HIV/AIDS, but she was always drawn to the nursing profession.


“Nursing was always something I wanted to do. My mother is a retired midwife and my father was a GP,” she says. “One could say it was my calling to be part of the helping fraternity.”

“Following my qualification as a mental health nurse, I enjoyed my first post as a staff nurse on a busy acute inpatient ward. I was mentored by amazing nurses who shaped and provided a foundation that has seen my career continue to develop and grow.”

In progressing to her current role as Deputy Lead Nurse for Offender Care, Nellie feels privileged to support nurses who dedicate and commit to providing care for our service users.

“Forensic nursing is a rewarding and fulfilling profession that is also very unique. Nurses working with those who have had contact with the justice system are privileged and honoured to provide a service that covers a complex system.

“The opportunities to work within the field extend from the prison, immigration centre, courts, police stations, secure wards and community. If you want to offer a service, provide life changing care and like to motivate service users, forensic nursing is definitely for you.”

The pandemic has posed new challenges for healthcare services, and nursing is no exception. In response, Nellie has come up with different ways of working.

“Covid-19 has taught me how to work smart and how to ensure I maintain a work-life balance. Working during this period has taught me resilience and an appreciation of other nurse’s contribution to the overall working of the team.”

When asked about what makes being a CNWL nurse unique, Nellie said:

“A CNWL nurse has the honour of being able to deliver patient care to a diverse community. The extensive range of services within the Trust offers a rewarding opportunity to experience varied training and development solutions tailored to meet each individual’s professional and career needs.”