Keeping it in the family

A father and son will maintain a family tradition by going into the nursing profession when they receive degrees from Edinburgh Napier University.

Date posted

28 October 2016


Last updated

14 June 2022

Fraser Chalmers, 25, has graduated with a BN in Nursing in a ceremony at the capital’s Usher Hall prior to taking up a post as a community staff nurse in the city.

Looking on proudly was his father Ross, 51, an ex-mortgage broker who is now in the third year of his own BN course at the university after the financial crisis forced him to rethink his career plans.

But the family’s involvement in nursing does not end there.

Fraser’s mum Sarah, 50, works as a district nurse team manager covering north west Edinburgh, his younger sister Kirsty, 22, is a staff nurse in the neonatal unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and his twin brother Murray - also an Edinburgh Napier graduate - is a recruitment consultant who recruits nurses for the Scottish Nursing Guild.

Fraser, who will be based at Bruntsfield Health Centre, said: “I'm really proud to follow in my mum’s footsteps and become a member of a district nursing team. She has been an inspiration to me and has and has taught me the keys values of care and compassion that you need to be an excellent nurse.

“I am proud to achieve my goal and I'm also looking forward to seeing my dad collect his degree next year.”

Fraser, whose family is from South Queensferry, studied law for a year before becoming interested in nursing and working part-time with his dad at a private care agency. He joined the NHS as a clinical support worker in 2011.

Two years later he embarked on his BN in nursing at Edinburgh Napier in the belief that qualifying as a community staff nurse band 5 would equip him with the skills he needed to make a difference to patients’ lives.

Meanwhile, his father Ross is well into his own academic journey. After leaving the finance industry he had been part of for 25 years, he worked as a home carer, going on to become a coordinator with the Edinburgh company.

He joined the NHS as a band 2 clinical support worker in ward 57 at the city’s Western General in 2012. After completing an HNC, he joined the second year of Edinburgh Napier’s BN Nursing programme.

Ross said: “My ambition is to get a band 5 post back in ward 57, which is a urology ward. That is where this journey started and I really love working in a surgical setting.

“To be at Fraser’s graduation will be a really proud moment and will give me the drive and determination to be where he is this time next year, receiving my degree 36 years after leaving school.”

His wife Sarah, who went into nursing straight from school in 1985 and has worked as a staff nurse, a midwife and a district nurse, is delighted to see her husband and son making impressive progress in their own nursing careers.

She said: “I am passionate about community nursing, and so proud that Fraser is following in my footsteps. I hope he will study further to become a District Nurse of the future.

“It’s also great to see Ross pursuing his goals and ambitions and I am sure that they will both find their nursing careers as rewarding as I have.”

Jackie Nicol, a lecturer in Edinburgh Napier’s School of Health & Social Care, has taught both father and son and worked with Sarah.

She said: “It has been my pleasure to have been professionally involved with all three family members, and I am sure Fraser and Ross will use the knowledge and experience they have gained at Edinburgh Napier to make their own mark on the nursing profession. I wish them all a very happy graduation day and offer my best wishes for the future.”

Edinburgh Napier is hosting an open morning on Saturday October 29 to outline why nursing is not just for women. Men into Nursing & Midwifery, which runs at the Sighthill campus from 9.30am-1pm, will encourage school leavers and adults from all backgrounds to consider these rewarding professions. More details below.

Men into nursing

Come along for a fantastic opportunity to meet and speak with experts in the field, visit our clinical facilities and learn more about our student services at our special Men into Nursing event.