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Christine Beasley: what I wish I'd known when I was studying


What Chief Nursing Officer, Christine Beasley, wishes she had known as a student nurse …


“I wish I had known how good a theoretical and practical basis my 3+ years of training would give me. Also it would only be the very beginning of all I would need to learn and develop over my career.

“I wish I had known how quickly my student time would pass ( It didn’t always feel like it at the time ! ) And that I should make the most of every minute.

“I wish I had listened more carefully to my lecturers and mentors and more fully appreciated that they really did know more than me!

“I wish I had realised that the patients I met as a student, and their stories I heard, would remain in my memory for always and that they helped to shape and mature my values and beliefs. I would have listened more carefully.”


“I wish I had realised I would be able to have a career and a family. It was made clear to me in my training I would have to choose. It
was along time ago!

“I wish I had known what a great career I would have….. but perhaps not - the surprises along the way have been great!”

Chrisitine Beasley is the Chief Nursing Officer for the Department of Health.


Readers' comments (6)

  • This was helpful to me. I'm (hopefully) going to be starting my training in September and I was worried that not knowing enough theoretically or practically would hold me back, but after reading this I feel reassured! Thank you.

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  • I am also (hopefully) going to be starting my training in September, I am in my second year of an Access to Health Course.
    I am 49 years old now and have waited such a long time, my children are grown up now and supporting me all the way; I really can nt wait to experience the many things which you have Christine, oh and good look Daniel.

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  • Hey Tracie, good for you. I'm a 49 year old student nurse, my son is behind me all the way and I'm LOVING IT!!! I thought that at my age I would feel like a fish out of water but I most certainly don't. I feel very much included, plus there's lots of us oldies on my course.
    I can say I'm relishing every minute so it is a shame that Christine didn't know what she had at the time.

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  • Aaron

    I started my training this september past, all the staff supporting my learning have been fantastic; I feel I've learned loads from them already; but it'll be a while before I approach their level of competency.

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  • Wish I was there now Karen, not long though. And like you Aaron, I know its going to take a long time to get up to standard but I can t wait to give it my best and eventually be a brilliant nurse, even though `Im an old un`!
    Good luck to all.

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  • Hello All, I have just turned thirty and I am currently enjoying my second week of university placement on a respiratory ward. I think the older or more mature you are the more you notice through a course like this. I know I am aware of many of the things Christine wishes she had been, and im sure people older than I will be aware of even more. Mature students realise how quickly this time will fly and tend to take full advantage of it. Good luck to all.

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