International Nurses’ Day 2021 – Why I’m proud to be a student nurse.

12 May is International Nurses’ Day, when we celebrate the contribution and dedication of those who devote themselves to the care of others. To mark the day this year, we asked two of our first year BSc (Hons) Nursing students, who are just starting out on their nursing journey, to share why they chose nursing, and what they love about the profession.

Lily Bowdler

International Nurses’ Day reflects on the ever-changing role of the nurse, celebrating both the outstanding work of Florence Nightingale and the growing responsibilities a future nurse will hold. This past year has recognised and validated the role of a nurse more than ever, as nurses have played a vital role during the Covid-19 pandemic in supporting people’s physical, mental and emotional health.

For me, being a nurse means working in partnership with patients and their support network, listening to their individual needs to help develop a trusting relationship. Sometimes individuals can feel nervous and ‘out of place’ in a hospital setting, so I try to make them feel more at ease by talking to them about their life, interests and how they are feeling. Every day is a learning day, working as part of a team and gaining new skills and experiences.                     

One of the things I enjoy the most is no two days are the same and as a student nurse you can make the most of every opportunity to watch and carry out new tasks. As well as this, you get a variety of placements, some you may enjoy more than others, that can help lead you to your chosen speciality.

 Top Tips for preparing to study nursing:

  • Comfort over looks – invest in a comfy pair of shoes for placement, they may not be the prettiest but that will not matter after 12 hours on your feet.
  • Plan, Plan, Plan! – balancing uni work and placement whilst also having a social life can sometimes be difficult but planning your time can help you to maintain a good work life balance. I find a daily to do list helpful to manage my time and writing key deadline dates in a diary is helpful.
  • Ask questions – No question is stupid so do not be afraid to ask. Questions can help expand your knowledge and skills around a topic.
  • Attend Open Days – Open Days allow you to speak to staff and students at universities, ask questions and find out more information about the course, student life, accommodation and much more!

Jessica Mahfuj

The ability to share knowledge and create lasting memories with everyone you meet, from the patients to the staff is truly amazing.

The best advice I can give to prospective nurses is to connect! You'll never regret making connections too soon as it will broaden your horizons and help make great first impressions! I love being able to engage with people from all walks of life, to hear their stories and to see the impact I have in their life (hopefully a good one!!) But it’s also important to still be there for them in the tough times and that's the reward I get from this job.

This is what International Nurses' Day means to me: being able to receive the most valuable insights this world has to offer.

Interested in studying for a career in Nursing?

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