Inspired Students: What Makes a Good Nurse or Midwife?

"I aspire to be a good nurse"

“As a child, I was frequently in hospital due to a health condition, and the care I received was always at a good standard. The staff knew how to comfort me (and other patients), especially when we were nervous about what was happening. This inspired me to be a nurse and to provide care and comfort to the same standards. I was attracted to the adult branch of nursing at it exposes you to a variety of individuals, with different illnesses. It also provides a wide career pathway, which I find helpful as I am undecided on an area I want to work in. Regardless of which area I end up working in, I aspire to be a good nurse – someone that is aware of their limitations and boundaries but isn't afraid to challenge themselves.”

Michael Ogunseye (Adult Nursing) 

"LD nursing has given me my voice, and I'm loving every minute!"

“My inspiration for becoming a learning disability nurse sprung from a talk at college, where I was doing an access course, after being a stay at home mum for six years with my children. I had always been interested in working with people with disabilities but knew I needed more than what being a support worker could offer me. Until that day, I did not know that learning disability nursing existed! Birmingham City University has been a brilliant choice for me. I especially love listening to the lecturers tell their stories about life as a nurse. It really inspires me to continue on my path, as I hope one day to be the nurse telling the stories to others."


Nursing is a unique experience for everyone and for me, being a learning disability nurse will give me the opportunity to work with some of our most vulnerable and overlooked in society, which I consider a great privilege. Nursing takes courage, and confidence and sometimes a thick skin! Nursing is not all about academic achievements, but rather your integrity and honesty. I never thought I would be where I am now, 35 years old and halfway through a degree but learning disability nursing has given me my voice and I’m loving every minute.”

Doran Taylor (Learning Disability Nursing)

learning disability nursing


"Looking after my younger siblings sparked a passion for a caring career"

child nursing

“My inspiration for becoming a children’s nurse came from poignant experiences from my childhood.  My parents are deaf and from a young age, I became a young carer for them, as well as helping to look after my younger siblings. I loved being able to do this and it sparked my passion for choosing a caring career.

The key to being a good nurse is compassion and communication. Being empathetic and caring towards your patients, and being compassionate about the care you are delivering is key. Having the ability to talk to patients and their families, and support them through their difficult journey is the important part of nursing.

Nancy Howell (Child Nursing)

"My journey has inspired my daughter to follow the same career path"

"My motivation to become a mental health nurse stems from personal experience of mental ill-health, and the desire to learn more and help others, without judgement. I also believe that my children need to have me as a role model, to help them grow and have a better understanding of mental illness, and their own health needs, and my qualification will support me to do this. I am proud to say that my journey has now inspired my daughter to follow the same career path, so I think it's fair to say I have achieved my aim from "almost completing" this course!”

Emma Bignell (Mental Health Nursing)

mental health

"I haven't looked back since"

midwifery skills

"I knew I wanted to do something that helped people but wasn’t quite sure what. I started with a Sports Therapy degree, but this didn’t feel quite right. Then, I did a year of a paramedic course, and during a placement, that’s when inspiration hit and everything became clear - when I was involved with a home birth. I haven’t looked back since.”

Rebecca Slater (Midwifery)

"It has opened my eyes immensely and I'm grateful for this knowledge"

“The motivation came from personal experience. My dad had cancer, and for five years we had nurses visiting our home to give him treatment, as well as visits to and from the hospital.  I was only young and ignorant to anything about cancer, other than ‘this is a disease that kills’. Little did I know that those nurses who we saw week in and week out would make those years some of the happiest and funniest times of my life. They made it memorable. They were friendly faces, even though they were providing treatment. I’m in my second year, and I’ve learnt so much about cancer, it has opened my eyes immensely and I’m grateful for this knowledge, even retrospectively!” 


“In my opinion, a good nurse is someone with a smile and warmth when you meet them for the first time. They make you, as a patient feel at ease and more comfortable. A good nurse doesn’t just notice the illness in someone, but all the other holistic aspects of a person, and includes them as equally important as treating the illness. A good nurse coordinates with others and works as an advocate for their patient. You must have courage to speak up. You will know your patient the best as you will have spent the most time interacting with them and getting to know them. Don’t be afraid to say what you think is best for your patient!”

Honar Fogarty (Adult Nursing)

Injection nursing

"I am becoming the best nurse I can possibly be"

ld nursing

"I think, as a nurse, you need to have of course a caring nature. But you also have to be able to stand up for your patients, letting their voices be heard. I think you need to have compassion, courage, empathy to give everyone the best quality of care. When I began this degree, I was worried I didn’t have what it takes to become a nurse as I was very shy and hated new surroundings. This course has helped me expand on all my qualities to become the best nurse I can possibly be."

Jennifer Brady (Learning Disability Nursing)

"It's not all super serious - I've done silly dances!"

As a nurse, you have to be something of a 'jack-of-all-trades' to be honest! Most people know that you need to be a kind, empathetic, caring person – but you also need to be able to adapt to whatever comes your way! You need to be assertive and confident to make the doctors listen when you know your patient is deteriorating. You need to be able to stay calm when things go crazy, as parents will look at you to reassure them that everything is in hand. You need to be confident dealing with all kinds of people as you see all sides of society in this job, from the most privileged to the most vulnerable, and treat them all the same.

Of course, you need to be able to have a laugh too – it's not all super serious. I've done silly dances to get children to do their physio, and the other week I ended up helping a patient with her GCSE Coursework on Macbeth, which is hardly what I thought I'd be doing when I started!

Samantha Barker (Child Nursing)

child nursing midwifery

"I am helping them bring life into the world"

Anna Johnson Midwife

“I completed a psychology degree, but at the end decided that the career options (to me) seem too depressing. I wanted to help people, but be more uplifted in my work, and that’s when I decided to become a midwife. Generally speaking, I am helping people in a happy time of their life (rather than meeting them during an illness) and helping them bring life into the world, and sharing in their joy. I still have an interest in psychology so would like to become a specialist mental health midwife after graduation.”

Anna Johnson (Midwifery)