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Sarah's inspiring journey: balancing life as a community nurse and military spouse

Find out how Sarah’s versatility and resilience have helped her to navigate her career and life transitions.

Sarah's story

For Armed Forces Week, Sarah shares her story of being a community nurse and military spouse. 

Sarah is a community nurse and military spouse. Sarah completed her nursing training in 2014, the same year she met her future husband, Ashley. Sarah developed a passion for community nursing, and after working for 4 years in the community, she applied for a role at NHS Highland.

Sarah’s connection to the armed forces community

Sarah married her husband, Ashley, in 2017. As a military spouse, Sarah relocates with her family every 2 to 3 years for Ashley’s job. She jokes, “It is always a good way to try where we would like to settle in the future”. Over the years, Sarah has experienced a series of relocations, including:

  • Catterick
  • Sandhurst, Camberley
  • Abbey Wood, Bristol

The family currently live in Inverness, where Sarah works as a community nurse.

Sarah tells us about family life as a military spouse. “I often accompany Ashley to military dinner nights and mess do’s”. Other than this, she explains, most relate to where they live and how their daily life runs. “My husband is away a lot, especially in the job he is in at the moment.”

Sarah explains that because of this she often can’t work weekends as she looks after their daughter. “My managers are very good and very understanding of Ashley’s role and him being away […] they’re very supportive, and I’m extremely grateful for their understanding.”

Why NHSScotland?

When Sarah applied for her role in NHS Highland, her first thought was that the job description looked appealing to her lifestyle. Although the interview process was intense, she left with a lasting impression of a well-structured and inviting workplace. “Being a community nurse allows me to balance work and home life very well, albeit very hard at times. I love my job.”

Striking a balance

Describing her usual routine, Sarah says, “No day is the same.” Her day begins at home with her daughter and her biggest love, breakfast. After dropping her daughter off at nursery, Sarah heads to work. This could be to the office or to a patient’s house. 

Once at work, Sarah's day-to-day activities can start with administering medications and wound care. She might then move on to providing palliative care, assisting with catheterisation, or giving insulin. 

Sarah gets great satisfaction from making a tangible difference in her patients’ lives. She loves seeing how providing essential care supports and positively impacts their physical and mental well-being.

After her shift has ended Sarah picks up her daughter and begins her volunteering role. She explains, “My biggest commitment outside of work, apart from my daughter, is volunteering for a food waste app.”

Sarah collects food from various supermarkets that would otherwise go to waste. She then lists it on the app, and people collect it from her house. In May 2024 alone, Sarah collected 605 items, which saved 227kg worth of food going to waste. 

Much like her role in NHSScotland, Sarah's flexible approach to volunteering allows her to integrate with and contribute to her community. She describes juggling her roles as a parent, spouse, and nurse as “hard but rewarding.”

Sarah’s advice to others the armed forces community

Sarah tells us, “The NHS is a great working environment for the armed forces community. I struggle to find a better working environment to suit my lifestyle." 

Sarah encourages anyone in her position to have a look at the NHS career opportunities available to them.

The Armed Forces Talent Programme

The Armed Forces Talent Programme delivers a range of support to enable the armed forces community to find NHS job opportunities and enter our workforce. Find out how we can help you.

NHSScotland Careers

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NHS Education for Scotland