When Jennifer starts talking about her future career in nursing, there’s a sparkle in her eye. “Nursing appealed to me as a passion, not just as a career,” she says, explaining that she took a while to realise that this was the best profession for her.
Jennifer’s first taste of working in the healthcare world came when she got a part-time job as a healthcare assistant at a care home that her cousin was managing. She worked there during her GCSEs and throughout her A-level studies. She laughs when she tells us what A-levels she took: “Nothing related [to nursing] - I studied English Literature, Classical Civilisation and Media Studies.”
Her friends recognised her passion for nursing through her work at the care home and suggested she put two and two together and apply to study nursing at university. She also had a nudge in this direction from her mum, who works as a midwife, although Jennifer reveals that this was a career that her mum embarked on later in life. “I was studying for my A-levels when my mum did her access course to become a midwife,” she says.
She has even worked with her mum at their local maternity unit, although when asked if she’d like to follow in her footsteps with a career in midwifery she instantly responds with a ‘no’. “I’d love to work in critical care,” she states.
Throughout her BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing degree, Jennifer has undertaken many placements, covering all aspects of nursing, from work in the community and with the elderly, to surgical and medical wards, and critical care. However, it is critical care that really appeals to her: “I loved being able to learn the anatomy at the same time, and I liked all the clinical aspects,” she explains, adding: “I also enjoyed learning from different members of the team [during my placement], including the doctors.”
The practical side of nursing is what Jennifer has enjoyed the most about her course, and she’s particularly pleased that her course at BU has given her plenty of opportunities to practice her skills. “I love being in the practical skills labs, because you learn so much theory that it’s great to be able to demonstrate this and put it all together in a clinical setting. Then, when you go on your placement, you’re not scared because you’ve done everything before,” she enthuses.
Jennifer has done her best to make the most of her time at BU, aside from throwing herself into her course. She’s undertaken the Student Development Award, which has given her the opportunity to pull all of her extra curricular activities together. These include being a student representative, working as a PAL (Peer-Assisted Learning) leader and helping on Open Days as a student ambassador.
“I can put them [the activities] all together in a portfolio and a website, which means I can show them to future employers and they’ll realise I’ve not just got a degree, but that I’ve done everything else that the university’s allowed me to,” she says.
She also enjoys living in Poole and particularly likes the location of Lansdowne Campus, where all of our Health & Social Care courses are taught. “I love the fact that it’s by the beach and by the city centre,” Jennifer reveals. She also points out that there’s a lot to see and do here, including great live music at the Pavillion and the BIC, and beautiful local scenery.
BU was the logical choice for her, as she grew up in Poole and admits to being a “home girl” who wanted to stay local. Although she did apply to study nursing at other universities, she had her heart set on Bournemouth from the beginning and has been thrilled to study here, as well as to complete her placements at Poole Hospital, which is local to her home.
Jennifer is keen to encourage other people considering studying nursing to visit BU and see what it’s like for themselves. “Come and have a look at the university first and just come and meet some of us,” she says with a smile. “We’re all happy to help and we’ve all done it before. If you come along and ask any questions, especially at an Open Day, that’s the best way to find out if it’s the university for you.”