Louise reflects on how much has happened in the first two thirds of her course and, despite the ups and downs, hopes for more of the same in third year
Reflecting on the last two years, I am overwhelmed by emotion. I couldn’t be more pleased with what I have achieved: not only have I completed two years of a degree course, but I’ve managed to juggle this along with bringing up my family and spending time on many other commitments.
At the end of second year, I am amazed at how quickly the course has flown by.
Nursing students sometimes ask me how I do it, juggling everything and staying sane. I tell them, it’s not easy, but if you have a passion for nursing you will go above and beyond your means to do everything, for your patients and for your degree.
First year was spent finding my feet. Would I be able to do the assignments and exams? Could I pass? Would I fail?
Once I’d completed first year relatively unscathed, and having proved to myself I could do it, I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone for second year. I knew it was going to become more intense but this didn’t deter me, if anything it pushed me on.
I signed up as a faculty rep for my campus, becoming a student voice. I thoroughly enjoy this role and have even been re-elected for a second year: my final year. I become Student Nursing Times’ student editor for the adult branch, giving me a chance to share my experiences with a wider variety of students, and hopefully help dampen fears about embarking on a nursing course.
All this extra-curricular activity has afforded me amazing privileges during the last six months. I attended the Student Nursing Times Awards, and was able to share in the elation of those who won, which was a great feeling.
I had to push my confidence as I had an awful lot of anxiety, however this did not deter me and it has certainly given me more confidence to walk into places on my own!
Attending the RCN Congress was amazing, I was able to chat and network with other health care professionals, and hear inspirational speakers discussing topics that are current today. I was also very privileged to hear Dr Kate Granger do a talk at the trust I’m placed at. This left me in awe, and I vowed to learn from her experiences and use them to change practice.
So after all that’s happened so far, what will third year hold?
I hope that I will continue being a student voice in some format, along with the faculty role I hope to expand on this in some way. My year with Student NT is coming to an end, but I will continue to write and I hope to start my own blog soon.
While I’ve had some great experiences and chances to challenge myself, I am happiest when I’m caring for patients.
I plan to enjoy every precious moment of third year, as these times as a student cannot be experienced again.
We are only student nurses once, embrace your time as it will be over in the blink of an eye, and then you shall be in charge of your own patients and holding a set of keys!
Louise Goodyear is Student Nursing Times’ adult branch student editor