An award winning nurse has urged others to join the profession especially if they have 'passion and resilience'.

Julie Ann Castro, who works at Watlington and District Nursing Home in Watlington, is in the finals of the annual national awards in the Care Registered Nurse category.

Originally from the Philippines, Ms Castro has been a registered nurse at Watlington for nearly 10 years, previously working at a home for adults with learning disabilities in London.

The award is for a registered nurse who has made long-term care their specialist profession, demonstrates outstanding clinical and managerial qualities, as well as a high level of dedication to the people they support.

Ms Castro comes from a whole family of medical professionals. Her family owned and operated a hospital that was right next door to where they lived. After witnessing first hand her mother care for people she was motivated to take the same career path.

At first, she had her sights set on becoming a doctor and started nursing as a pre-medical course.

However, after passing the board exam and gaining experience, she decided to take up further studies and ended up enrolling in one of the colleges in the UK taking a BTEC Higher National Diploma in Health and Social Care Management.

She said: "I knew that nurses were already in demand in hospitals both domestic and abroad. Sanctuary Care has supported me with the overseas nursing programme so I could be a fully registered UK nurse. Sanctuary Care has been a great catalyst in my nursing career."

The care home nurse says she enjoys her job because she is able to make a difference to peoples lives.

She said: "The significant impact of what we do as nurses, providing care in a holistic approach that allows our residents to be comfortable, safe and content is so rewarding. Sometimes I cannot even express in words how fulfilled I feel when I am able to achieve some of my goals in one day."

The nurse urges those who want to join the profession to do it especially if they have the 'passion'.

She said: "Having the passion and resilience will take your nursing career to great heights – you will experience sad days but also the most rewarding and memorable moments with your residents and their families. Nurses are also great leaders as well as good team players. We act as a team and achieve goals and objectives as a team."

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or 01865 425 445.