September 24, 2021, by School of Medicine

30 at 30: How my student journey has developed over the past 2 years

Over the past 50 years, the University of Nottingham has contributed amazing things to the healthcare industry. As someone who is enthused about healthcare, it is an honour and truly incredible to be a part of such a huge celebration.

During training over the past two-years at the University of Nottingham, my knowledge and enthusiasm for Nursing has only grown stronger. The development of technology over the past 50 years has allowed me and my colleagues to train using simulations, preparing us for working with patients, and to also train in our homes all over the country during a global pandemic. It is essential that new healthcare professionals are continuing to train even when the world has come to a stop like it did last year. The University has managed to provide us with amazing resources, lectures, support and information, all of which contributed to learning skills and developing our knowledge towards nursing. 50 years ago, none of this would have been possible and this just highlights how incredible it is that technology has developed, and how the University has also grown alongside this, using developing technology to their advantage and to expand their teaching skills. As me and my fellow students learned the ropes of online learning, lecturers were also behind the scenes planning lectures, adapting to new technology and ways of work whilst working from home.

During the past two years I have faced many persona l challenges due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Being isolated from friends and family and having to adapt to online learning was very difficult, especially when nursing is such a hands-on degree. At first, I thought that this would shake my competence as a nurse and that I wouldn’t have the same skill set as other nurses. Thankfully, the support from my personal tutor and other lecturers really helped me to pull through and continue to be determined.

In a way, the pandemic happening during my training has allowed me to see a different side to myself; a more resilient, determined and optimistic side. With the University being so supportive, I told myself that I couldn’t give up and that I had the opportunity to change the difficulties around me these around and raise awareness of them during lockdown. I began to campaign for better mental health, raise money for charity and get involved in the Nursing and Midwifery Association. By becoming the president, I raised more money for charity and continued to raise awareness for mental health. This gave me a purpose and allowed me to feel as though I had accomplished something amazing in a year where things weren’t particularly normal. The University constantly supported me which only encouraged me to expand my knowledge and my enthusiasm for Nursing and that is why I applied for the Nursing Times Student Nurse of the Year.

To my shock, I received an email saying that I had been shortlisted and it really put into perspective that all the hard work and after such a difficult year, I was able to stand up and say that it counted for something and I am now able to be a voice to express how amazing nursing is and how incredible the team at the University of Nottingham is.

I will always continue to be enthusiastic about medicine and nursing, from the discovery of penicillin, to Florence Nightingale transforming Nursing, to the development of the NHS and the start of Medicine and Nursing at the University of Nottingham; it is truly inspirational that I am able to be a part of such a staple part in healthcare.

I will forever be thankful to my personal tutor and the rest of the staff at the University for giving me the confidence and encouragement that I needed in order to believe in myself. So many inspirational nurses have come from the University of Nottingham and it is absolutely amazing watching them shine whilst I am on placement. Hopefully, I can become one of these nurses, thanks to the University.

It is interesting to think where Nursing will be in another 50 years’ time. What technology will we have for training future nurses? How will medicine have evolved? How can evidence-based practice shape the healthcare industry? The constant change in evidence and the continuing development of knowledge makes me so excited to start working in healthcare. The fact that things are constantly changing and can only develop for the better is a wonderful concept for the University and the rest of the healthcare industry.

By Ashley Thomas, Nursing student

Posted in 30 Years of NursingNursing