- In 1965, Ancylin Morgan entered the University of the West Indies (UHWI) Nursing School graduating in 1968 as a registered nurse.
- She worked at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in her home parish before pursuing studies in Midwifery at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital. She worked at the Old St. James Hospital and later the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where she spent the rest of her nursing career.
- Nurse Morgan also had the honour of serving as President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), the union for registered nurses, from 1991 to 1994.
Ancylin Morgan always wanted to be a nurse.
As a child, she recalls admiring the crisp white uniform of a midwife in the Westmoreland community in which she grew up, and knew then and there, that nursing was what she wanted to do.
“I always wanted to be a nurse even as a child. An old midwife in my area used to ride a bicycle in her white dress and that, to me, was very fascinating. I started playing around with orange tree needles, injecting breadfruits and papayas even from a tender age,” she chuckles.
“My father was always asking me what I wanted to become when I became a big girl. My answer was always the same; I wanted to be a nurse,” she adds.
In 1965, she entered the University of the West Indies (UHWI) Nursing School graduating in 1968 as a registered nurse.
She worked at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in her home parish before pursuing studies in Midwifery at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital. She worked at the Old St. James Hospital and later the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where she spent the rest of her nursing career.
While at Cornwall Regional, Nurse Morgan did extensive training in advanced nursing education and has a Certificate in Public Health from the University of Boston.
“I moved through different levels at Cornwall. I was staff nurse, then acting sister, ward sister then departmental sister. I worked in the School of Nursing as an acting tutor then I moved on to deputy matron and finally matron, a post from which I retired in 2004,” she informs.
“I also spent quite a bit of time in the operating room as a registered nurse and in fact, I went across the whole gamut of nursing. I went into administration, developing policies and procedures in relation to nursing and received quite a number of awards for nursing services,” she informs.
These include the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service in 2004, for service to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, and the Edith Thelstead Award, the highest award of the League of Nurses of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
Nurse Morgan also had the honour of serving as President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), the union for registered nurses, from 1991 to 1994. She remains active in the association and is credited with leading the team that secured an 85 per cent pay increase across the board for nurses.
“Those negotiations were completed with the Minister of Health at the time, Hon. Easton Douglas. We had a very good rapport with the Minister and we look back with pride at what we were able to achieve,” she tells JIS News.
She adds that her team also negotiated for and received houses specially earmarked for purchase by nurses in the Portmore area.
“It was a period of negotiation with the developers that resulted in the houses being awarded to the nurses. Ten units were acquired and for that we are eternally grateful,” she says.
On National Heroes Day, October 20, it was a proud Nurse Morgan, who, walked across the lawns of King’s House, attired in her own crisp white nurse’s uniform, to receive the insignia of the Order of Jamaica (Officer Class) for outstanding contribution to nursing.
The 36-year veteran of the profession describes nursing as her joy and says if she had to live her life all over, she would not change a thing. “The greatest joy is seeing your patients get well. Money is not everything,” she says.
“Nursing has been my life. This honour has really humbled me and made me feel that it was all worth it and I am grateful to the profession for where it has brought me. I owe all my life to the Lord first and nursing second,” she expresses.