The theme for this year’s International Nurses’ Day on 12 May was ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare’, and at Holy Cross Hospital in Haslemere, nurses are encouraged and supported to do just that.

Chetana Sunwar came to the UK in 2006 from Katmandu in Nepal. She originally trained as a beauty therapist but in 2008 she embarked on a new career path and accepted a job working with people with learning disabilities. She quickly progressed to the role of senior support worker and gained an NVQ Level 3. After three years, Chetana decided to broaden her experience and became a senior care assistant at a care home for older people in Haslemere. It was here that her ambition to become a nurse began.

Explaining, Chetana says: “While working at the care home, I studied for a Level 5 NVQ. After achieving it, I was keen to learn more and so I decided to accept a position at Holy Cross Hospital. I was soon promoted to the role of senior health care assistant and then care team leader. Over the past three years, I have been studying part time with the Open University to become a Registered nurse.

“I’ve now been at Holy Cross Hospital for seven years and love working in a challenging clinical setting where I can put my skills to good use. When I first moved to the UK, I never imagined that 15 years later I would be on course to complete my final year of training to become a nurse. Holy Cross offers wonderful opportunities and is paving the way for people like me to contribute to the future of healthcare.”

Dr Ross White, Chief Executive at Holy Cross Hospital says: “We have a rich diversity of staff at Holy Cross and are proud to employ nurses who originate from many parts of the world. In return for choosing to work with us, we actively support and encourage all team members to further their knowledge, skills and professional development with our comprehensive learning and development programme.

“I congratulate Chetana Sanwar for being such a wonderful role model for others who may be thinking of following in her footsteps. We look forward to her qualifying and becoming a Registered nurse and thank all of our nurses for their commitment and for making a positive difference to our patients’ lives.”

Holy Cross Hospital provides specialist care to 40 highly dependent patients with a range of neurological conditions resulting from serious strokes, accidents and other causes. Anybody who has been inspired by Chetana’s story and who would like to be part of the vision for future healthcare can see the latest opportunities to join the Holy Cross team at