Nurturing new generations of nurses

Matthew Carey has moved from clinical practice into the role of lecturer

"For me my education has never really reached a point of completion. Instead, it has opened doors to lifelong learning and, as a graduate, I find myself now en-route to a PhD – something I never imagined I would have progressed to when I embarked on my foundation degree."

Matthew Carey

Matthew Carey graduated from BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health) in 2006 and now works as a lecturer on the course at the University.

Matthew's story

"Following graduating from Plymouth I took a post working with ventilated children in the community to offer respite support for parents. After this worthwhile venture, I made a transition into the general paediatric wards to hone my clinical skills and later progressed into working as a critical care nurse within children’s high dependency. I had the privilege of working alongside both children and their families as well as a dedicated multidisciplinary team to deliver high quality, holistic care to promote recovery in both a challenging and rewarding environment. Whilst working within the critical care environment I developed an interest in mentoring and nurturing new generations of future nurses into the profession. This led to a promotion into the role of practice educator. 

"Across the span of my clinical career, I worked as an associate lecturer for the University and combining my passion and interests I moved from clinical practice into the role of lecturer in 2014. I still work clinically; but equally new opportunities have led me to study for a PhD."

"The role of being a children’s nurse is a diverse and challenging career. However, it offers so many rewards and opportunities across many different roles. It is by no means limited and with the right attitude and application, you can achieve great things and equally have an impact on the lives of those you meet along the way."

Stay focused on the goal and enjoy the experience

"My philosophy is that the journey, experiences and the knowledge that I have gained from my studies, career choice and postgraduate education have shaped me into who I am today. Yes, there have been a few challenges along the way, but my studies have taught me the importance of life-long learning that continues from graduation and spans an entire career.

"Each person has a different way of working within their strengths. For me, I would tell myself to plan and prioritise my time effectively. Steady application for me has been a method for staying motivated in my studies."

"Plymouth offers a diverse learning opportunity and is committed to providing and promoting positive experiences for their undergraduates and postgraduates. Services work in partnership to ensure that this is upheld and standards maintained.

"The lecturing team and personal tutor were integral to this process offering support not just in the academic environment, but also in their links and relationship with clinical practice placements. The Information Specialist was a valuable resource in helping with navigating key resources, completing database searches and for general queries related to developing my academic skills. 

"PALS was never an option for me, however, as the academic co-ordinator for PALS within my field I see first-hand its value to students across different years of study."

Location was one the main drivers for me

"I am local to the area of Plymouth and was keen to study in my hometown, but also explored other universities. One key point that confirmed Plymouth as my place to study was the inspiring talk given at open day by two of the lecturers for the programme at the time. One of these individuals is now my working colleague and it is their inexhaustible passion for the profession and education that inspired me at the time to apply and continues to inspire new groups of prospective students.

"Plymouth has been integral to both the challenges faced as a children’s nurse and within my academic role. The structure of the programme aligned with both the governing body standards, but offered a realistic view and interpretation of practice and related key theory."

Favourite memories:

  • meeting like-minded people across theoretical and clinical settings
  • shared experience and imparted evidence-based knowledge between the lecturing team, peers and practice mentors/educators
  • the excitement for the career ahead.

"Coming from a lower-socioeconomic background, I never really considered university to be an option. However, this should never be a limitation to the person or for them to sell themselves short in terms of their academic potential. Studying at university has inspired me to achieve more beyond my original expectations."

Shape the future of nursing

Caring for children and young people with a wide range of needs is a challenging and fulfilling career. From newborns to adolescents and beyond, you’ll gain experience of supporting children and their families during periods of great change and stress. 

Early placement opportunities across the South West will develop your clinical and communication skills and your understanding of caring in hospital and community settings. You will graduate ready to start shaping the future of nursing.

Study BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health)

The BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health)