I’m Josh, and I’m studying for my Adult Nursing Degree. So for #InternationalNursesDay, I thought I’d tell you why I chose nursing.
A career in health care is something I’ve thought about since I was very young; I believe everybody should have access to free, dignified, safe and compassionate health care. But life doesn’t always go to plan does it?
At 18, I wasn’t ready to make the decisions I needed to about the rest of my life, and after a difficult time at sixth form, I left A-levels behind and pursued a BTEC in Creative Media. I know what you’re thinking – how on earth did you go from studying maths and science to media and then to nursing?! Well, it wasn’t an over-night transition. I actually ended up completing a degree in Communication, Culture and Media, and going on to complete a Masters qualification, and eventually I even started a PhD. But after a lot of soul searching, it wasn’t for me.
Choosing to leave the career path I was carving behind, and head in a totally different direction was daunting to say the least. I talked it through with countless friends and family members, until my Nan told me she was sick of hearing me talk about it, and the only way to find out if it was right was to try it! I’ve always wanted to do something that felt meaningful with my life, and I’ve always needed to be ‘doing something’. I wanted to do something that made a difference, something that really mattered. I’m fortunate in that I’d gone through the majority of my life with relatively good health, but I’d still had first-hand experience of how valuable the support of nursing staff is, both as a patient and as a member of patients’ family.
I’d done a lot of volunteering before starting the degree, but this was mainly working with support groups, or with healthcare advocacy. I knew the social aspect of Nursing appealed to me – providing support, comfort, and ‘being there’ for people; but I didn’t know quite how I’d find the clinical side of it.
When I heard Coventry University offered a pre-degree programme (6 months paid placement prior to starting the degree) in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust, I was sold and put it in my application for Adult Nursing. I’d have 6 months of working in the field, before starting my degree to really make sure this was right for me. And I loved it. The University also invited us to attend taster lectures and sessions with them, whilst we were working, so as well as getting a good idea of what we were getting ourselves into with the world of work, we also got an opportunity to find out more about what the course was like. And I won’t lie, that shiny new building that’s being put together right now was a massive draw as well. There’s no other University I could find in the UK with facilities that rivalled it. Can you tell I’m a little bit excited for it to open?
I’m barely 3 months into my studies right now, but I’m loving every minute. Sure, it’s challenging, and it’s definitely going to get harder, but I can’t wait. We spend 50% of our time in University, and 50% on placements, which again is something that really appealed to me. I love learning, but I much prefer learning in a practical environment. There’s a lot of theory to get through in 3 years, but the staff make it engaging and fun to learn, and we all understand the importance of it before going off into practice. And it’s not all theory, we have lectures and seminars where we learn the theoretical underpinnings of care, and then we go off to practical labs, where we practice these skills in simulation. Making sure that by the time placement comes around, we all feel ready.
Choosing to study Nursing is probably one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made, but so far it’s also turning out to be one of the best.