On 14th March 2019 I graduated from Kingston University in Adult Nursing (yay me). After already working as a nurse from October it felt long overdue.
The Long Road
My journey to becoming a nurse wasn’t a smooth one – started off with me flopping my A levels, to taking a gap year to work and see what my options were and whether I really wanted to pursue nursing, or at the time Midwifery. I then went on to studying an access course – an intense 1 year course which is equivalent to an A level essentially, to get me to university to study this degree I wanted to pursue so badly. During this time I was already seeing my friends progress in their own university studies, whilst I felt as though I was lagging behind.
Finally Made It
Fast forward to September 2015 I’m now in university, at long last, and I’m finally at the place I want to be! But this joy and excitement soon dissipates and was replaced with unworthiness, stress, fear and self-doubt. It’s hard to describe to other students or even family members how hard and how stressful being a student nurse was at times – unlike any other non healthcare related degree we came into contact with very difficult situations such as death and have to go back home to function as a “normal” individual, all whilst having to meet deadlines with assignments, exams and our dreadful documents on placements (which our mentors tried their hardest to avoid at all costs!).
The support I received on and off placement was lackluster – even with family bereavements minimal support was given. I did enjoy my time as a student nurse, but to say it was a rollercoaster of emotions would be an understatement. At times my colleagues and I would laugh about our near or possible mental breakdowns because it was such a normal thing in nursing. But through all the late shifts, long hours, no pee breaks, heavy caseload, blood, sweat and literal tears I am happy I’ve done it! You might think it’s bizarre that I would knowingly choose this all over again, but being a nurse is so rewarding and if more were to choose to go into the profession then the working environment we are placed in would drastically change for the better.
Why Become a Nurse?
Why choose nursing after all the trials and tribulations – because it is a rewarding job that is filled with endless opportunities of career progression. You will also meet and make lifelong friends. Being a nurse will allow you to have an effect on people’s lives that they will be grateful for forever and you will never forget who they are and how they touched you. Best of all, you will be able to work anywhere in the world with a nursing degree achieved in the UK.
The top 5 tips or tools I’d say you will need to make it through the degree would be:
5. Take some time for yourself! Enjoy your university experience, relax, go on trips and just take care of you!
Although my time at uni was hard, I learnt many transferable skills and made such great friends in the progress – and I wouldn’t choose a more fulfilling and rewarding job as I know I can go home feeling as though I made a difference in someone’s life.