Jamie - Saving Lives

Jamie Bryson

NHS Senior Critical Care Nurse

BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing

Jamie was underestimated in school due to being less academic than other students, but challenges didn't stop him from achieving his dream of becoming a Critical Care Nurse. BCU provided Jamie with the foundation to be a caring and strategic professional who puts his patients at the forefront of everything he does.

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse from a young age but no one in my family had been to university before so it was a huge step for me. I've never felt that I'm 'book smart' and I've always struggled with exams. I was told at a young age that I 'would amount to nothing'. But, as cliché as it may sound, nursing is my calling, so giving up just because it felt difficult, or others didn't believe in me wasn't an option.

My only goal has always been to become the best nurse possible. Something that motivated me to become a nurse was seeing my Nan deteriorate in a Nursing Home due to substandard care. I knew I could do better for other people receiving care. BCU trains the best of the best. My course is the only university course to teach, train, and educate all military nurses. Although I didn't want to join the military, this told me that BCU could prepare me for the fast-paced environment of critical care.

50% of my course was placement based. I completed varied work placements in elderly and palliative care, trauma and surgery, critical care, acute and speciality medicine, sexual health and family planning, community, and paediatrics/maternity.

We were also lucky to experience high fidelity simulation regularly to practice the underpinning knowledge and skills we learned in lectures and seminars before attending placements as student nurses to ensure we were safe and competent. This was huge for me, as even as a student, I didn't want to provide substandard care.

At BCU, I grew professionally as it provided me with the relevant skills, knowledge and ability to think critically, whilst promoting safety and always striving for the best.

Following the completion of my course, I was able to successfully register as an adult nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). I initially kick-started my career in Acute and Emergency care. I worked on a very busy Acute Medical Unit and Emergency Department where I gained and honed in on my emergency care skills and knowledge before side stepping into my chosen and desired career pathway of critical care.

I have now worked in various critical care environments in Birmingham, Worcestershire, Bristol, Bath and currently London. These have included general, trauma, paediatric and cardiothoracic critical care. BCU has led me to fantastic career opportunities. I have achieved further qualifications at Master's level, including teaching and assessing in clinical practice, and my postgraduate certificate in critical care. BCU gave me the skills, knowledge, and tools to pursue this.

I was told I would never amount to anything. Yet, I feel like I have everything. I have the best job in the world. Who else can commonly say they go to work and are responsible for keeping someone alive during critical illness, advocating for those most vulnerable and at risk, and bringing joy to someone's day?

There are a lot of tough moments in my job, from attending serious emergencies to holding someone's hand as they take their last breath. It's frustrating, tiring, draining, yet so rewarding, humbling and a real privilege. I take pride in knowing that no matter what happens to my patients, I've provided the best possible care thanks to the strong foundation my training at BCU has given me. I am a BCU nurse and proud of it.”