I remember sitting in my very first lecture being told that before we knew it we would be qualifying and I just didn’t think that would be true. Yet here I am, and the past three years have absolutely flown by! It still doesn’t feel real!
The NMC requirement of 2300 hours (unpaid until a global pandemic hit) spent in clinical practice (which actually turned into a few hundred hours over this!), the same amount of hours spent completing theory, 6 placements, 1 elective placement, 12 weeks of Skills, OSCEs, interdisciplinary learning days, assignments, presentations, exams and a dissertation, the hundreds of pounds spent on university and hospital car parking fees, the many, many hours spent crying or laughing (or both at the same time!), the things I have seen that some people may never see in their lifetime, the people I have had the honour of caring for and working alongside, losing loved ones along the way. Oh, and throw Covid-19 into the mix! It has been a rollercoaster of three years!
I started my degree having just turned 18. I had an idea of what nursing was but knowing what I know now, I never could have imagined what I would experience throughout my training and what ‘being a nurse’ really means. Nurses are strong, intelligent, passionate, witty, extraordinary and, of course, caring. Day in and day out putting other’s needs before their own no matter what conditions, abuse or challenges they face.
I have completely changed over the duration of this course. My confidence has grown, my knowledge has increased and I am proud of everything I have achieved. Thank you to my family and close friends for their continuous support and for listening as I talk about my experiences. Thank you to my Mum for showing me everything there is to know about how we care for and treat others with kindness, to my Dad for answering my millions of questions and always providing guidance, to Liam for walking me to my car after a long shift, for always encouraging me and for teaching me how to believe in myself, to Zoe and my uni friends for their support during placements and academic work and for becoming friends for life, to my lecturers for your support and teaching, to my Mentors and everyone I worked with on placements who guided me through and for also becoming my friends, to my patients and their loved ones for trusting me to care for them and their loved ones and for their heart-felt feedback.
The journey I have been on is one I will never forget. It has been harder than I could have ever imagined but also SO much greater then I ever predicted.
Today I found out that I have achieved a First Class Bachelor of Science with Honours in Adult Nursing!
I hope you will all continue to follow me on my journey as a newly qualified registered nurse!
2020 the Year of the Nurse, 2020 the year I qualified as a nurse, 2020 the year nurses were tested harder than ever, 2020 the year I will never forget.
Congratulations to all of my fellow September 2017 cohorts out there! Something none of us could have predicted was the Coronavirus, especially when we were soon to commence our final management and leadership placement but we made it!
To everyone else on their student nurse journey, keep going! You are on your path to becoming part of something truly special.
To anyone considering beginning their nursing journey – do it! You will not experience anything else like it!
Staff Nurse Anna