Posted on: 12 May 2021

Tolulope Ayorinde was inspired to become a nurse after caring for her mother back in Africa, who was suddenly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. She began her nursing career as a Healthcare Assistant, working in different settings to achieve her post as Ward Manager with CNWL’s Inpatient Acute Service in 2020. She shares her story to mark International Nurses Day.

“Growing up, I have always been very caring,” she says. “I love looking after children, family, friends, community and going the extra mile, making sure their needs were met. The gratification I get from helping others is enormous.”

At the beginning of her career Tolulope had no background in mental health, but her passion for helping others inspired her to enter the profession.TA_IND picture_small.png

“I was given the opportunity to work in a mental health ward as a healthcare assistant. Before my first shift, I was told it was perilous. I decided to go for it so I could change people’s minds about mental health and reduce stigmatisation.

“My first shift changed everything; I made up my mind to become a mental health nurse. I believe supporting those in need and having a positive effect on their lives is incredibly satisfying. Every day brings a new challenge that necessitates strategic thinking and an ever-changing environment that motivates me. I witness people at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives and this serves as a source of motivation to assist them in alleviating any of their discomforts.”

Like many others, practicing as a nurse throughout the pandemic has been a new experience for Tolulope.

“Covid-19 has taught me how to be resilient and open to changing my practice at short notice. Regulations were constantly evolving, and I kept my team updated with current guidelines. I was also there to offer support and reassurance when they felt anxious. It has enabled me to shine as a leader and develop my skills when under extreme pressure.”

When we asked Tolulope what makes being a CNWL Nurse unique, she said:

“CNWL nurses lead with great compassion and respect for each other and patients. We empower each other to achieve greatness and empower our service users to believe that they can live a productive and meaningful life.”