ROBIN Jackson says that despite feeling like a piece of the furniture at St Andrew's Hospital, after 55 years of nursing it was time to leave before the polish wore off.

In a few weeks' time Ms Jackson, who is the nurse manager at the hospital's cardiac rehab unit, is calling time on her days as a health care professional.

A familiar and happy face greeting all those who have walked through the doors at St Andrew's over the years, Ms Jackson reflected on a journey that saw a small-town country girl from Mungindi embark on career that spanned half a century - and the lessons she learned along the way.

"It only seems like yesterday that I was a raw little country girl walking up the hill to the Royal Brisbane Hospital thinking 'what am I doing'," she recalled.

"I have never regretted it because I have always wanted to be in the career I have chosen.

After calling time on her career, Ms Jackson points out an intricate clock one patient made specifically for her after she treated him.
After calling time on her career, Ms Jackson points out an intricate clock one patient made specifically for her after she treated him. Kevin Farmer

"I never wanted to be anything else other than a health care professional."

Having treated patients from a variety of walks of life; from politicians to rugby league club presidents, her advice to any young nurse is pretty simple.

"Listen to advice, gain some experience and enjoy your career," Ms Jackson said.

The legacy of Ms Jackson will live on when she walks out the gate for the final time.

Having watched the cardiac rehab unit grow from a small room 26 years ago, what she leaves behind is a facility proving to be a lifeline of the community - with half the equipment in the unit having been bought with funds Ms Jackson personally raised over the years.

BIG HEART: St Andrew's Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre nurse manager Robin Jackson is set to retire after nursing for more than 50 years.
BIG HEART: St Andrew's Cardiac Rehabilitation Centre nurse manager Robin Jackson is set to retire after nursing for more than 50 years. Kevin Farmer

Her final day, Ms Jackson said, will be met with a lot of emotions but mostly apprehension about the future.

With the extra time on their hands many retreat to the golf course upon retiring.

But not Ms Jackson.

"I plan on gardening, improving my bridge and leading a very relaxing life." she said.

"I can't even think yet (about her last day) I think I will be very sad but there comes a time in one's life for retirement."


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