An 84-year-old nurse has just retired from her job in Devon, after clocking up a 66 years’ service for the NHS – thought to make her the country’s oldest and longest serving member of the profession.
Monica Bulman, a Registered General Nurse (RGN), worked on Hutchings ward at Torbay Hospital as part of the specialist outpatient surgical clinic team for Endoscopy.
Monica’s retirement, which took place on 22 February, coincides with national celebrations of the NHS 70th anniversary year. The NHS was launched on 5 July 1948 and Monica has worked for the NHS for 66 out of the 70 years since its creation.
Aged just 19, Monica started to work in the NHS in 1952 as a State Enrolled Nurse before undergoing further training to qualify as a State Registered Nurse in 1957 – now known as a RGN.
Monica said: ‘The NHS has been a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way but I have decided that it’s now time for me to put my fob watch and belt away to enable me to spend quality time with all my loved ones.’
She started her State Enrolled Nurse training in 1952 at Eltham Hospital, London, before moving to St John’s Hospital, London, in 1954 to qualify as a State Registered Nurse. Upon qualifying in 1957, Monica stayed at St John’s and worked as a staff nurse as well as a theatre nurse until she left in 1959.