"Through both the personal and professional development made by studying at the University of Plymouth, I was able to demonstrate a passion for holistic nursing care and a determination to be the best nurse I could be.
During my varied clinical placements from acute stroke to community nursing to gynaecology, I got a taster of the huge diversity in nursing both between roles but also within roles. Nursing is more than sometimes the public perceives it to be. Nurses are researchers, leaders, educators and coaches, and it was hugely inspiring. I learnt how to be a safe, effective and compassionate nurse, but I also learnt through placements where that could lead.
Being a student nurse is both a physical and mental demand, but it prepares you for the constant learning you will always be undertaking as a newly registered nurse and beyond. Through practice based learning, you are able to demonstrate cumulatively, the knowledge, skills and attributes required for nursing today. You are expected to take on more responsibility and autonomy as you progress through the programme so that by third year, you are practicing as a nearly qualified nurse with confidence and increasing capability.
I am a newly registered staff nurse working on a haematology unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. Our patients may be having chemotherapy, blood product support and autologous stem cell transplants, but we also provide palliative and end of life care.
After having a placement on the haematology unit as a third-year student, I enjoyed getting to know our patients over the long periods of time they would often be with us or visit the unit, and providing holistic nursing care. The pathophysiology and pharmacology of haematological diseases and their treatments was also fascinating, and I was forever asking questions or looking things up. I learnt a huge amount, and really looked forward to going to placement, with a team that went above and beyond for those in their care.
The best bits of my role are the relationships we develop with our patients. Seeing them come into the day case after a long inpatient stay living well beyond treatment and in remission will always be a highlight, but it’s also a privilege to look after patients and their families in their last days of life, and doing our utmost to make them as person-centred and comfortable as possible."