After spending years working in an acute orthopaedic ward, and as a community nurse, Student Sarah Hope decided to come back to higher education in search of something that would enhance her career. In this blog, Sarah tell us about her experience pursuing the Graduate Diploma: Integrated Community Nursing in order to progress to the Postgraduate Diploma in Person-Centred Practice (District Nursing).

Why attracted you to study in Edinburgh and why did you choose QMU? 

For me, proximity to the Scottish Borders was important and out of the universities that were local to me, I had heard good things about QMU and its reputation. 

What interested you about your chosen course? Tell us about progressing from GD ICN to the Pg Dip PCP DN.  

Having been out of education for over five years and knowing I wanted to complete the Pg Dip PCP DN course, I knew I required something academic to get onto the course. The GD ICN had been announced and I had the opportunity to take this on as a steppingstone to secure entry to the Pg Dip PCP DN course. I knew the modules available through GD ICN would improve my learning going forward. 

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

I have enjoyed learning about being Person-Centred within my role and gaining knowledge of the Person-Centred Framework. The modules all had a very positive impact on my nursing career. Gaining knowledge of palliative care, long-term conditions and obtaining my V300 at Level 10 was a great professional achievement for me.  

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

"The St Colombus Hospice was very interesting to me. The Palliative Care module was delivered online but as part of the Person-Centred District Nursing course, I got to meet the lecturers and staff from St Columbus hospice face to face. I found this very beneficial as it was casual but informative. I really liked being able to listen to the experiences of other nurses but also about new methods of caring for palliative patients."
Sarah Hope

How have your lecturers supported your learning? 

The lecturers have been very supportive throughout, especially when the GD ICN was an online course. 

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

Completing the GD ICN during COVID meant there were a lot of challenges to overcome, particularly in relation to completing the course on time. However, I was grateful for a supportive team that enabled study time especially due to restrictions and reduced staff during COVID. 

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

I would fully encourage applying for the GD ICN course as all the modules are important for nurses wishing to better their individual skills and enhance there knowledge to provide person-centred nursing and to also prescribe relevant medication to individuals requiring medical care safely and timely.