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What inspired us to become nurses and midwives

Everyone has a story to tell, so we’ve spoken to some of our nursing and midwifery students to find out what inspired them to become a healthcare professional and what they think makes a good nurse or midwife.

Student nurse takes pulse

Michael Ogunseye (Adult Nursing)

“As a child I was frequently in hospital due to a health condition. The care I received was always of a good standard. The staff knew how to comfort me, especially when I was nervous about what was happening. This inspired me to be a nurse and to provide care and comfort to the same standard. I was attracted to the adult branch of nursing as it exposes you to a variety of people and different illnesses. It also provides a wide range of career pathways, which is 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.”

Doran Taylor (Learning Disability Nursing)

“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 a talk was given at my college, I didn’t know that learning disability nursing existed! The University has been a brilliant choice for me. I love listening to the lecturers tell 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.

“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.”

Want to know where your career could go? 

Nursing and midwifery offer huge opportunities after you qualify both in terms of moving up the bands and specialising in an area that really interests you.

Nancy Howell (Child Nursing)

“My inspiration for becoming a children’s nurse came from 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 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.”

Emma Bignell (Mental Health Nursing)

"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 my children need me as a role model, to help them grow and have a better understanding of mental illness and their own health needs. 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!”

Rebecca Slater (Midwifery)

"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 I was involved with a home birth; that’s when inspiration hit and everything became clear. I haven’t looked back since.”

Student nurse takes child's temperature

Honar Fogarty (Adult Nursing)

“The motivation to become a nurse came from personal experience. My dad had cancer so for five years we had nurses visiting our home to treat his, as well as visits to and from the hospital. I was only young and ignorant to anything about cancer, other than it's ‘a disease that kills’. Little did I know that the nurses we saw every week would make those years some of the happiest and funniest times of my life. They were friendly and made it memorable.

"In my opinion, a good nurse is someone with a smile and warmth when you meet them for the first time. They make you feel at ease. A good nurse doesn’t just notice someone's illness, but looks at a person holistically, 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!”

Jennifer Brady (Learning Disability Nursing)

"I think you need to have a caring nature but you also have to be able to stand up for your patients, letting their voices be heard. You need to have compassion, courage and 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 be."

Student nurse takes blood pressure

What happens on placement?

We spoke to some of our students training to be healthcare professionals to find out.

Hear about students' placement experiences