Rebecca Richards - BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) graduate

Current employer: NHS

Current job title: Staff Nurse Personality Disorder Lead

Current location: Nottingham

“The 24/7 library was invaluable. The library staff were massively helpful and I couldn’t have got through it without them. Never be afraid to ask for help. I am dyslexic and have been supported every step of the way, but I had to say yes to that help.”

Did you decide to change your career path during your studies, and if so, why?

When I began the course I was interested in youth offending and mental health. Whilst I am still interested in these areas, I didn’t have the opportunity to undertake a CAMHS placement (Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Service). My long term plans are now centred on crisis or liaison services and personality disorder services, which is still quite a large area in which to work. I want to see where the job takes me.

What was the most difficult thing you faced finding a job?

I moved 300 miles from where I trained to seek work in an area I didn’t really know that well. It meant that I was up against newly qualified students from two local universities and had to try and make myself stand out. In the end, I didn’t actually struggle to find a job; in fact, I was invited to the interview for the role I’m in now.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career (or that you’re most looking forward to)?

Having the opportunity to speak at the biggest nursing conference in the country, the RCN Congress, was certainly a massive high point for me. Being able to advocate for something which I really believe in, to improve the experience of my service users, influencing national policy, was horribly nerve wracking and brilliant all at once. I found attending the conference massively inspirational, and to be there made me feel part of the profession. Also, being nominated for Student Nurse of The Year was a real honour.

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

Do it, but know why you want to: you’ll need that when you’re up all night, or stressed out. It’s not an easy course; it challenges and changes you in a lot of different ways, so you have to want to be there.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Having a range of placements near to where I lived in Exeter made life a lot easier. The 24/7 library was invaluable. The library staff were massively helpful and I couldn’t have got through it without them. Never be afraid to ask for help. I am dyslexic and have been supported every step of the way, but I had to say yes to that help.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why? 

Absolutely. It’s a flexible place to learn, with great facilities, and a team of staff for whom nothing is too much work and who really want you to do well. The campus is lovely too.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health), please visit our BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Nursing and Midwifery, please visit the school page.


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