Friends of the Elderly, a charity which runs care homes including The Lawn in Alton, honoured National Nurses Day by celebrating the commitment and dedication of its residents who had careers as nurses.

Josephine Kristiansen, who has lived at The Lawn since November 2021, grew up in Inverurie in Scotland and was still at school when she decided nursing was the career path she wanted to follow. 

She said: “I liked the idea of becoming a nurse. I had no trouble with the exams and when I was 18 I enrolled in nurses’ training at The New Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.”

Part of Josephine’s training was in midwifery. She said: “I delivered ten babies in the district, and they all arrived at different times, day or night. Babies can arrive at any time, they don’t stick to a timetable.

“I became a staff nurse, and once I had finished my general training I continued in midwifery, which meant I was a Scottish general nurse with the State Certificate of Midwifery.

“I was very fortunate and worked in great hospitals. I worked at Aberdeen Hospital, the University College Hospital in London and Lady Chancellor’s Hospital in Salisbury. I loved my job, it was so rewarding and I got to meet so many different people from all walks of life.”

Despite her busy job, Josephine still found time for romance. She said: “I had 11 marriage proposals during my years of dating, but I turned them all down until I met my husband, Rene, and of course I said yes. He was funny, so amusing and rather cheeky. Rene was also very intelligent, full of fun and so persistent.”

Josephine and Rene had two daughters, Catherine Elizabeth and Josephine Anne, and Josephine is now a proud grandmother to her many grandchildren.

She said: “I used to enjoy needlework, knitting, and I loved cooking. When we have singers visit The Lawn, I love to sing along with them.

“The care team here always make time to sit with me and have a good old chat, which I look forward to every day. We often chat about what makes us happy and I’d have to say enjoy your life, live it to the fullest and do whatever makes you happy. It’s definitely worked well for me.”