How Sunrise develops careers in nursing

Sunrise Senior Living UK has long prioritised being a great place to work as a nurse. Here, one of our experienced nurses at Sunrise of Guildford offers her individual journey through the care sector and how she has been empowered to follow her greatest passion.

Sam McCarthy’s journey with Sunrise has been a long and greatly fulfilling one. Having worked with the company for over 10 years, she is now an Assisted Living Coordinator at Sunrise of Guildford. Located in the semi-rural village of Peasmarsh, the home offers first class care dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all residents.

Sam’s role sees her hold responsibility for all aspects associated with resident care and ensure all operations run smoothly. Following her dream and pursuing nursing has seen a lot of development and growth in Sam’s career. She started her nursing career nearly 50 years ago with the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, before eventually joining the NHS at Frimley Park Hospital. Here, she worked her way up the nursing career ladder and served the health service for 28 years. At the age of 52, she decided to take her retirement pension, feeling that she had achieved everything she wanted at that stage.

However, Sam was soon eager to return to the sector on a part-time basis. An advertisement called for nurses at Sunrise Senior Living and, despite having never heard of the company, her interest was piqued. She went along to the Guildford community, where she soon discovered “that it was nothing like I had imagined a care home for older people to be like.” With Sunrise having rekindled her ambition, Sam spent six happy years as a Senior Wellness Nurse before progressing to her current role as Assisted Living Coordinator.

In terms of her daily responsibilities, Sam has a passion for working with older people. She says: “whilst it can have its challenges, it always gives so much back. The residents are all people who have lived interesting and compelling lives, and I enjoy hearing their rich stories and experiences. Moving to a care community can be an unsettling experience but we do everything we can to help residents move in and come to see us as friends. Before long, residents feel part of our community.”

To Sam, Sunrise is a great place to work because she can always rely on lots of support. “Our team has a great rapport and we work in collaboration with carers and external partners, including our local GP surgery,” she says. “It’s always best to ‘mix and mingle’ the care and nursing teams, as residents all have different needs and require variety from our work. Fundamentally, I feel that I have the freedom and autonomy to do my best and always know when I have made a positive difference to a resident’s life.”

For any young and aspiring nurses out there, Sam’s long and distinctive career has taught her that caring for older people is an exceptionally rewarding environment in which to drive your career. “Care homes have come a long way, with environments that are dynamic and allow for autonomy,” Sam says. “Recently, I have watched three out of a group of five people become nurses after visiting us at weekends from college and undertaking a year-long work experience placement. Hearing that they chose caring for older people as their next step was a real source of pride for me.” And, there’s plenty of opportunity for everyone else – team members can progress their career to take on broader senior management roles, whilst remaining involved in the clinical side of work.


To find out more about working at Sunrise, click here