Mental Health Nursing student David McGuire on the goals of his career path and the beliefs behind them.

What sparked your interest in Nursing?

I just like to help people. I wanted the opportunity to be that person who helps somebody help themselves.

There’s a lot of hardship in the world and the chance to bring a bit more kindness into it gave me a reason. Nursing will let me give back to the community.

Why apply to Mental Health Nursing in particular?

In today’s world, especially with social media, there’s a lot of pressure to be perfect. When I qualify, I want to work with teenagers and support people who might find it difficult to support themselves in that environment. The goal is to try and help someone change their world.

The brain is such a wonderful thing and I think the way that people work and operate is just something that really intrigues me. The mind is so delicate and having the right support can really make a difference.

Was there a reason you chose Edinburgh Napier University?

I was at Edinburgh College when I applied, based at Sighthill. It’s just across the road from the University campus so I liked the location and I had used the facilities before.

A lot of my friends were coming here, which was a good incentive, and once I started talking to people about Nursing, it became obvious that Edinburgh Napier University was one of the best in Scotland to go for. I went to an Open Day as well and had a discussion with the course administrator, who was able to give me some good guidance and information.

It just seemed like the sensible choice for me.

I wanted the opportunity to be that person who helps somebody help themselves. The goal is to try and help someone change their world.

David McGuire

First Year, Mental Health Nursing

How did you find applying as a mature student?

I didn’t really have any difficulties. The application process was quite straightforward and I had the support of my college tutor and my friends while I was doing that.

The interview process was a bit nerve-wracking but that was down to the importance of the course to me, rather than the situation. It was actually a good day and I had a good laugh.

A part of it is a group exercise, which was kind of enjoyable and had a wee bit of healthy competition. You obviously want to try and be the best.

What is it like being a male Nursing student?

Wanting to be a nurse hasn’t presented any issues for me. There hasn’t been anything untoward, anything unusual or comments about me being a male nurse, either. It’s an enjoyable experience and I don’t feel any different just because I’m a man wanting to be a nurse.

There’s this idea that men aren’t supposed to be caring, aren’t supposed to be sensitive or kind and, I suppose, people see Nursing as a ‘non-macho’ role. I guess it kind of is, but that doesn’t mean it’s just for women.

Well, obviously, I’m here doing it – so that cuts through that.

Has there been a highlight for you on the course so far?

That’s probably hard to pinpoint because it’s been great learning new things and having the laughs I’ve had with my friends, which is quite an important part of it as well.

I did have a good time on placement and getting the opportunity to see what things are like out in the real world. I think when you get practical experience you can put it to practical use, which is quite beneficial.

What have you found the most challenging?

That was settling in and just finding my footing, I suppose. It didn’t take that long, really, it was just the experience of a new building, new premises, a new structure and way of doing things.

But it wasn’t hard with the support of my peers and tutors. Any time I’ve made a request for support, I’ve always got what I wanted and any help I needed.

Actually, probably the biggest challenge for me now is getting up in the morning!

Who would you recommend Nursing to?

Anybody who wants to help people. I’ve actually tried to encourage friends to do it.

There’s all sorts of roles you can do as a nurse - it’s not just being in a hospital unit. Work in the community, in a school, a GP surgery or even prisons.

Anyone who wants to try a different career path could go into Nursing. It’s open to everybody.

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