Rebecca Reynolds – DipHe Nursing (Child); BSc (Hon) Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting) graduate

Current Employer: Plymouth University

Current Job Title: Lecturer

Current Location: Plymouth

“Create your own opportunities for development; if you want to do something that will further your learning don’t be afraid to ask.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

When I first qualified as a children’s nurse I worked in the Children’s Observation unit and High Dependency unit in Cornwall. Alongside this I working in the community providing long term respite care for children with life limiting conditions. When I relocated to Plymouth I began working with the Health Visiting and School Nursing team which led to a return to Plymouth University to complete my Specialist Community Public Health Nurse Degree. I continued to develop the role of Health Visitor and became a Perinatal Mental Health Champion and Chair of a professional group. Most recently I have been successful in gaining the post of Lecturer in Children’s Nursing back at Plymouth University.

How has your degree helped/influenced your career path?

In my early twenties I had chosen my career path and was fully committed to becoming a Children’s Nurse. The lecturers inspired me with their passion for children’s nursing and gave me the foundation on which to build my career. I was able to recognise my strengths and I was taught the skills by which to seize opportunities. I have always been passionate about learning and am excited to now share my knowledge and enthusiasm in my role as Lecturer. I feel very proud to have been given the opportunity to work alongside some of the individuals who sent me off on my career path.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Throughout my career I have been faced with many challenging situations clinically, professionally, and emotionally. It can be a steep learning curve to remain professional in circumstances you find emotionally challenging; however, we are real people. I feel honoured to have worked with some amazing families and share the journey through the most difficult of circumstances.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

The opportunity to begin a career as a Lecturer. I have always been passionate about my role as a Children’s Nurse and Health Visitor and enthusiastic about mentoring students through their placements. I enjoyed developing my previous role to contribute to the learning and development of individuals and the organisation. I am excited to face the challenges and opportunities that my new role will present and to contribute to the nurses of the future.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

Prepare yourself for the commitment to lifelong learning and be open to the different forms this learning takes. Create your own opportunities for development; if you want to do something that will further your learning don’t be afraid to ask. Never underestimate your leadership skills and your ability to facilitate change. Finally, never be afraid to ask questions!

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

I was equipped with the skills and knowledge to build on and shape my career. There are great facilities and support to help you study.

What lessons/skills did you gain from your course?

The greatest lesson that has influenced my career is the importance of applying evidence to everything and the skill to critique any source.

Did you undertake a placement during your degree and if so, how did this benefit you?

I undertook many placements during my studies; these were core to my learning and understanding of the role.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

Meeting like-minded people, the challenge of facing different opinions, and the excitement of the career ahead.

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