Legal star abandoned law to train as a nurse

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A would-be lawyer who turned her back on fame and fortune to retrain as a nurse has been nominated for a rising star award.

Victoria Bryant worked as a PA for a top London criminal law firm after leaving college.

Her boss was so impressed with her legal aptitude that he offered to sponsor her to become a solicitor.

But a hands-on trip to Ghana volunteering at an orphanage prompted Victoria to have a complete change of ambition.

“I wasn’t sure working as a lawyer was for me. I wasn’t sure if I was just attracted to the money and glamour,” she said. I knew after spending time at the orphanage that what I really wanted to do was nursing.“

Victoria promptly waved goodbye to her London salary and enrolled as a student on a three-year nursing course at Kingston University.

She now works for PJ Care at its Grange Farm-based Brunel unit, in Milton Keynes.

Here she provides care, treatment and rehabilitation for people with serious brain conditions including motor neurone disease, young onset dementia and Huntingdon’s disease. This week her work has won her a nominations for a Rising Star prize in the prestigious Nursing Times Awards.

She said: “It came as a real surprise. I have loved my time at PJ Care... The work is very challenging and varied - no day is ever the same as the last.

“The company motto is ‘compassion, commitment and care’ and everyone really does stand by that.”

PJ Care chief executive officer, Johann van Zy,l is delighted about Victoria’s career change. The legal profession’s loss is certainly nursing’s gain,” he said.

The company is doubly proud that another of its workers has been nominated for Nurse Leader of the Year in the same awards.

Mum-of-two Amy Iddon is unit manager of the city’s Bluebirds Neurological Centre and described as “an outstanding nurse and leader who always goes the extra mile in her job.”

Both Amy and Victoria have to make a presentation about their work at the judging day in September.

Meanwhile Victoria is preparing for another special date – her wedding to fiancé Stuart at the end of this month.