Sherniece Kaur

Adult Nursing - BSc

After becoming seriously ill just a few weeks into her degree, Sherniece Kaur didn’t know if she would be able to fulfil her dream of a career in nursing. But, after a liver transplant and 10 months in hospital, she returned to BCU, and is now working towards qualifying as a nurse. After graduating, she plans to go back and work on the ward where she was treated.

“I did a Biochemistry degree after school. As part of that, I did a placement at a GP practice and I realised that I was good at talking to and empathising with people. I really enjoyed getting up and going into placement and the days went really fast.

After my degree, I applied to do Nursing. I really enjoyed the interview process and meeting the staff at BCU, everyone seemed really nice and down to earth and I could tell I would fit in. I started in the degree in January, and in February I started feeling ill. I visited my GP, who ran lots of tests, and then I was admitted to hospital straightaway. I went into hospital on 1 March, and had to have a liver transplant. I spent 10 months in hospital.

While I was in hospital, I kept in touch with my course lead by email, and my personal tutor even visited me at the end of his shift one day. I was also visited by the Placement Practice Administrator. Throughout that time, the whole team were really supportive. I was looked after by BCU nurses as well – one of the nurses on the ward was a BCU graduate, and I remember another student being on placement.

I was discharged in December, and I was keen to get back to my degree. Jody Perry, the course lead, was great. She told me not to worry and come back when I was ready, and she got everything set up so that I could restart in January.

I think being a patient myself will make me a better nurse. I understand the patient experience, I see things that other nurses might not see, and I understand what patients say differently, because I know what it feels like. I know that small things can make a patient’s day. So I take time to sit with them. I also know that patients have worries they might not mention, such as body image issues – a liver transplant leaves a big scar, and some people worry about that. I can show people that, years down the line, they won’t worry about the scar any more – I see mine as a reminder of the gift of life.

I’m going into my third year now. I’m hoping to do a placement on the liver transplant ward where I was treated. After I graduate, I’m hoping to work on that ward, and become a liver transplant nurse. Eventually, I’d like to become a liver co-ordinator. I also hope to mentor student nurses, and help to motivate them, through my own experience. Lots of students will have setbacks and need time out, but I believe these experiences can make you a better nurse.

For me, I AM BCU is about support. The BCU team supported me throughout my illness – my personal tutors, the placement team, all the people that came to visit me. They were always on hand to answer emails, and they helped to motivate me – to carry on learning, and carry on with being a nurse. Without their support, I would never have wanted to come back and finish my degree.”

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