Adult Nursing student Cassandra Shaw recounts how her values have come to the fore in First Year.
What inspired you to study Nursing?
I’ve got children, I’ve been a patient myself and I just wanted to give something back. I thought the best way to do that was to become a nurse.
Nurses are the backbone of the health service. When you start caring for relatives and go to the hospital with them, you start to realise how important nurses are.
If you go to a hospital and you get treated properly, with dignity and respect, and there’s compassion in your care, it makes all the difference.
Why did Adult Nursing appeal to you?
When I’m qualified I want to be able to help young people transitioning into adulthood, especially people who have learning disabilities or incapacities. I want to be there to support them and help them access the care that they need.
How did you decide on Edinburgh Napier University?
All the nurses I’ve met in Edinburgh studied here, and they‘re outstanding.
There’s a really good support network in place for older students. The feedback I saw when I went online and talked to peers at university or in the workplace was all about how good they were.
I knew in my heart that I wanted to come to Edinburgh Napier University. They just want the right people to be here so they can to produce the best nurses possible.
Was it easy to apply to the course?
I thought ‘I’m a mature student, how am I going to do this?’ But then I phoned the Admissions team and they were very helpful, then I went to a Nursing drop-in session.
They gave me all the right tools, told me what I need to know, and pointed me in the right direction. They were very clear about how the process would work. That’s what made the transition from a job into university so easy for me.
In my case, I came through Clearing and I thought it was going to be so complicated. It wasn’t, it was super easy. You get support every step of the way.
What was it like to start a degree as a mature student?
To my surprise, it was great. There’s a good mix of individuals on the course from all different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, and all in the same frame of mind. We’re all here for the same reasons.
I actually think you can bring an extra perspective as a mature student, since you also have some life experience. Even if it’s from a different field, it’s all skills that are transferable for university.
Do you have a favourite moment from the course so far?
When I was on placement and I got to see what the theory and practice do when they come together, it all made sense to me. I thought ‘this is where I want to be’.
All the compassionate care, all the policies, all the things that you are being taught at university are what you see in practice. You see how crucial it is to have compassion and that it has to be a part of the person to be a nurse.
Your own values as an individual come together in the profession. Although it’s very challenging, it’s very rewarding in what you take home every day. Just the fact that you help someone when they need you, I think is the best reward you can get.
Who would you recommend Nursing to?
Anyone can do Nursing as long as they want to do it.
It can be hard, yes. It’s not going to be easy but you will be supported through university, you will meet people from all different backgrounds, you will make friends for life and it doesn’t matter if you’re coming straight from school or not.
When you start studying and going on placements, it will open your horizons to all the things you can do in Nursing. Once you come on to the course, you will realise where you want to go.