Current employer: University of Plymouth
Current job title: Lecturer
Current location: Truro
“I was an aircraft mechanic working on Sea King helicopters with the Royal Navy before starting my degree. I left just as the Falklands conflict started! The degree then opened up completely new personal horizons. I would not be where I am today if it were not for my studies at Plymouth.”
Tell us about your career path since graduation.
Upon graduating, I completed my nurse training with Plymouth School of Nursing and, after three years, gained registration as a nurse. During my clinical practice I studied for a Certificate of Education before becoming a clinical facilitator back with Plymouth School of Nursing in 1992. I then studied for a postgraduate diploma in education with the Royal College of Nursing in London for a year before being offered a post back in Plymouth.
How has your degree helped/influenced your career path?
It was very important and helped to produce a rapid advancement within my nursing career, as at that time there was a shortage of graduates. My sociology degree, which I also obtained from the University, assisted my pathway enormously with the development of nursing curricula at that time. I was able to fast track to a masters in nursing again with the Royal College of Nursing in London.
Has your career path changed since graduation?
I entered nursing as a clinician, but soon became entered into a more academic role which was education orientated. Now, I’m still within the nursing profession but with a very different role from the early years.
What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?
Clinical practice with real people is extremely challenging and, at times, emotional. Nursing practice demands so many skills, attitudes, and self-knowledge. Working in an intensive care setting was very challenging at times due to the severity and sometimes rapidly changing nature of the person’s illness.
What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?
The best part of my job is developing the social sciences whilst teaching nurses. This has culminated in writing a key text book for student nurses on psychological and sociological elements within nursing.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
Read, read, and read. Look for and create opportunities through networking. Never be afraid to ask or to take chances.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
Enormously. I was an aircraft mechanic working on Sea King helicopters with the Royal Navy before starting my degree. I left just as the Falklands conflict started! The degree then opened up completely new personal horizons. I would not be where I am today if it were not for my studies at Plymouth.
What lessons/skills did you gain from your course?
Critical thinking, challenging assumptions, writing, and gaining confidence.
What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?
Having the freedom to read and explore new ideas with like-minded people. It is a golden, once in a lifetime opportunity.
Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University, and why?
Yes, because it is a sustainability literate university, it has great staff, and there are great facilities in a hugely enjoyable city.
Inspired by this story?
For more information about studying our range of courses within the School of Nursing and Midwifery, please visit the school page.
Want to find similar alumni?
If you would like to find out what other alumni from the Faculty of Health are currently doing, please visit the health and social work interest area.