About you

Why did you choose to study at Queen Margaret University (QMU)?

This was a new course offered to me by our lead nurse and I thought it sounded very interesting. Having just completed my nursing revalidation I knew the course would give me more than enough hours towards my continuing professional development for my next revalidation.

What interested you about your chosen course?

The fact that it is focused on the community. Being online and part-time made it easier for me to fit it around my work (well that was the idea!). I knew it would increase my knowledge and hopefully give me opportunity to progress in an area I enjoy working.

The Course

What have you most enjoyed about your course? What has been the highlight?

I have enjoyed returning to study and having to integrate with and find out more about other teams. I've enjoyed meeting and interacting with other students. A real highlight for me has been gaining new knowledge and realising even at an early stage that the course has improved my nursing practice.

Have you participated in a course activity you found especially interesting?

So far I have really enjoyed the clinical assessment aspect. Designing my poster was very interesting as it is something I have never done before.

How have your lecturers supported your learning?

I have found all the lecturers approachable and very easy to talk to. You are never made to feel stupid when asking questions. My Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) is fantastic, she never gives up offering me guidance when I am struggling with something. I am encouraged to work things out and find out the answers for myself and so far she has always found different ways to explain things to me if I am missing the point.

What have been some of your challenges with the course and university life? How have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge for me is the IT and technology side of things particularly the e-portfolio, this is still a learning curve for me, but I am slowly but surely mastering this with the support of my PAT.

Have you taken part in a placement as part of your course and if so, what was your experience?

I have not had a placement, but I have been able to spend time with Out-Of-Hours Advanced Nurse Practitioners. This has been very valuable for clinical assessment and for understanding how important their role is within the integrated team.

Do you have any advice for students who might be interested in applying for this course?

If someone wishes to expand their knowledge and skills within the community nursing team I feel this is a good course to undertake.

The student experience

What QMU student services have you used (e.g. Effective Learning Service or the ‘Employer and Enterprise Mentoring Programme’? 

I have had a one-to-one tutorial through Blackboard (our online learning and teaching system) from the library staff. They taught me how to search for journals, etc. Although I’m still a bit of a novice I have found it immensely helpful

What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?

Learn to manage your time and always ask for help.

What has been the most valuable lesson that you’ve learned at university?

I have developed more self-awareness and look at things differently. 

After QMU

What are you plans after graduation? Tell us about your ambitions and where you see yourself in the future?

My plan/hope is to be promoted within the Evening Nursing Service or to become an Urgent Care or Nurse Practitioner

"If someone wishes to expand their knowledge and skills within the community nursing team I feel this is a good course to undertake."
Anne Hewitt

[story added March 2021]