When she joined Severn Hospice in 2008, Cheryl Johnson had no idea that one day she would be a trailblazer. 

But that is just what she is – the charity’s first Nurse Associate, a vital link between the nursing healthcare assistants and the staff nurses. And since she began her training and started on her journey more than two years ago, she has inspired a handful of other healthcare assistants to follow her lead. 

Cheryl began her career as a night nursing assistant on Breidden Ward at the hospice in Bicton, Shrewsbury almost 15 years ago. 


“I can remember being so nervous on my first few shifts,” she said, “but I was soon put at ease and made so welcome by the amazing nursing team. They showed such dedication and compassion towards their patients, relatives, and colleagues. 

“I knew then that the hospice was a special place to work, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” 

Over the years, Cheryl gained knowledge and experience in palliative and end-of-life care. And in 2020, she was given the chance to undertake a Nurse Associate Two-year Foundation Degree. 


“I felt so privileged to be given the opportunity,” she said. 

Along the way, Cheryl has been supported by her course assessor Tamara Hemson as well as other members of hospice’s multi-disciplinary team. 

Tamara said: “Working alongside Cheryl and supporting her through her course to become a Nurse Associate has been a pleasure. She has had the opportunity for a varied learning experience over the two-year course and has enjoyed her placements as well as developing a role on Perry Ward. 

“Cheryl and I have had regular contact with Staffordshire University, and she is now on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register as a fully qualified Nurse Associate. It has been a privilege to be involved in her training as she is the first to be in the role at Severn Hospice.” 


Cheryl undertook various placements as part of her degree. “I felt immensely proud to represent and promote the hospice when I was on placement,” she said. “I’m looking forward to establishing my new role to the benefit of everyone at the hospice.” 

Cheryl Muller, Severn Hospice’s Educator in Palliative Care, had worked alongside Cheryl on the wards and had seen her care, kindness, and compassion first-hand. 

“I have seen Cheryl grow in confidence as a professional over the years. In my current role, I was able to organise her clinical placements in other areas of nursing which allowed her to fulfil her practice hours and have exposure to a variety of learning opportunities. 


“I feel both very proud and privileged that we as a hospice supported Cheryl in becoming our first Nurse Associate: she is an inspirational role model to her colleagues.” 


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