It’s Never Too Late to Chase Your Dream: Cancer Sister Becomes Nurse at Age of 40

30th August 2023
Angela Berry poses in front of the Ulster Hospital

Macmillan Cancer Unit Ward Sister, Angela Berry, who has been working as a nurse for the past 12 years, has decided to share her story so anyone who thinks their dream career is now unobtainable should think again!

Angela used to work in finance in a bank in Devon until the age of 40 when she moved back to Northern Ireland. Angela decided it was time to fulfil her lifelong ambition to become a Nurse. It was now or never. Since the age of 16, Angela wanted to pursue a nursing career, but she said, “Life got in the way”.

However, despite the fact she had celebrated her 40th birthday and did not have any nursing qualifications, Angela had the courage to embark on an Open University degree, combined with a job as a Nursing Assistant. Angela admits it was a difficult juggling act at times, bringing up her two children, studying and working but she explained she had great support.

Highlighting her career journey, Angela said, “When I moved back to Northern Ireland, I looked at jobs in the banking industry, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue in this line of work, it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, so I attended a jobs fair to see how I could become a Nurse, which I had always wanted to do.

“I was about to apply for Queen’s University when the opportunity came up to begin my Nurse training with the Open University.  When I was completing my final year of training, my daughter was going through her GCSE’s, so it was quite the event in our home as there was two people doing exams!  It was about balancing family life with studying and working to earn a living, it was difficult, but I had amazing support. You are never too old!”

As children across Northern Ireland receive their A Level and GCSE results this month, Angela stressed it is never too late to chase your dream. Just go for it!

Angela & Claire Gault discuss work on the ward