The Shetlanders: the happy nurse

Vicky Schofield moved to Shetland from Chester four years ago to pursue her “perfect job” as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the Lerwick Health Centre, in Shetland’s capital. But while the job offered clear benefits — more time with patients, the chance to study for her Master’s degree, a generous relocation package — she also had to think about her husband, Martin, and her children Charlotte and Reuben, now nine and six.

“Of course, there were a lot of questions,” she says. “Would we fit in? Would we like it? Was there a brass band? Charlotte was really worried that we wouldn’t have the same furniture, so we spent a lot of time reassuring her that the furniture would be coming with us.”

Four years later, Martin works as a Conservation Officer for RSPB Scotland, primarily monitoring bird populations across the islands. Both he and Vicky play in the Lerwick Brass Band and help with everything from swim classes to rugby training, which means they’re almost as busy as Charlotte and Reuben, who swim, play rugby, go to Beavers/Brownies and spend a lot of time racing along the street on bikes.

And the job that looked perfect to Vicky when she saw it on the NHS Scotland website, “is still perfect”, helped by having a ten-minute walk along the seafront to work, and lots of banter with colleagues. “We have been really really happy with how we’ve been welcomed into the community,” she says. “Everybody’s always been very happy to see us, and very happy that we’ve come as a family. This is our home now.”

Read Vicky's full story.