After finding her path with an OU nursing degree and a sought-after place on a healthcare leadership programme, Lisa says she has never felt prouder of her fellow nurses in these unprecedented times. As we mark International Nurses Day (12 May), read about Lisa’s journey.
Lisa had been working in healthcare for 18 years, but when a family member became unwell Lisa was inspired by the nurses who cared for them and decided to pursue her career in nursing.
Having financial commitments and a young family, a flexible approach to study and being able to continue working has been key. Lisa has found the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing both challenging and rewarding, feeling well supported throughout.
“Not only have I got the support of my employer, but The Open University support network is phenomenal,” says Lisa.
Lisa’s employer sponsor, GP Partner Dr Aseem Rahman, explains that it’s key to them that their staff can grow. Having different routes into the profession also helps tackle nursing staff shortages.
He comments, “It’s very important that people feel valued in their roles. If we can have a new stream of how we get people into primary care, then that can only be a good thing for everyone”.
Since starting her nursing degree, Lisa’s confidence has excelled. In 2019, she was selected as one of only 150 pre-registration students across the UK to participate in the Council of Deans Student Leadership Programme, which aims to promote and develop skills among the future professional healthcare workforce. This experience, along with knowledge gained through OU academic study and skills gained on placement, has had a huge impact on Lisa, her colleagues and patients.
“I think it’s benefited the patients – the knowledge that I’ve gained out on placement, I can relate all those skills back to my working environment. Once I’ve finished this degree, I’m lucky enough to have a position as a Practice Nurse. My dream is to become an Advanced Clinical Practitioner, which is why I’m applying to do my Master’s post degree,” says Lisa.
Lisa’s colleagues recognise how her new-found skills and confidence have benefited the workplace. Dr Rahman says “Over the past few years, she’s gained so much more confidence. It’s been a pleasure to be with her on this journey”.
Lisa’s Practice Assessor and colleague, Debbie Oliver, adds “Lisa has changed loads since she’s been doing the course, she’s so much more confident – she’s learned a phenomenal amount.”
Lisa hopes that others will be inspired to pursue their own dream of becoming a nurse:
“If you wanted to be a registered nurse, as long as you are self-motivated, dedicated, organised – I think the OU can work for anybody. It’s flexible.”
Since the coronavirus, we caught up with Lisa to see how she was getting on. She told us, “I have never felt prouder to belong to a profession that believes in each other and in what we do, always trying to do our best in these unprecedented times. We will get through this and life will change, but there is always something to be thankful for.”
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About studying nursing at the OU