My experience of becoming an academic is perhaps similar to that of my colleagues who are also from a healthcare practitioner background; it happened more by accident than by design. I started my clinical career after completing a Bachelor of Nursing with honours degree from the University of Glasgow in 2002 and moved immediately into critical care nursing. I worked in acute care in Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow before moving to Bournemouth to study for a Master of Chiropractic degree at AECC while nursing part-time in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. This first career change was prompted by my growing frustration at being unable to offer much in the way of meaningful care to patients with musculoskeletal pain. I returned to Scotland with my wife and worked as a chiropractor in private practice before being lured back to BU to study for a PhD. This had never been part of the career plan, rather it was the topic (using latest technology to investigate how spinal manipulation might work) that captured my imagination.
While I was largely based at AECC for my research and clinical work, as a BU-registered student it was obvious that the university were placing a growing emphasis on helping to provide support for postgraduate students and I was grateful for that during what was at times was stressful enough without also now having two young children. My BU supervisor was always happy to travel to AECC for our PhD supervisory meetings which helped.
I transitioned fully from AECC to BU in 2014 having been appointed a Lecturer in Adult Nursing. The transition from clinician to academic is not a straightforward one and I’m still trying to figure some of that out. However the university has provided a whole range of opportunities to support that development including funding me to obtain a Post-graduate Certificate in Education Practice which has been instrumental in developing my practice as a teacher. There are more staff development opportunities available than any one individual could possibly hope to attend on a whole range of subject areas all aimed at providing staff with the knowledge and skills to progress. The Faculty have also been generous in supporting me to attend a number of international conferences which has facilitated important networking to create opportunities for future collaborations and ways to enhance my career alongside promoting BU’s ambitions. I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve had from many, many, colleagues and I see a great future here.