Meet Chloe, Leanne, Rebecca and Lucy who will each be representing their branch of nursing, and student nurses in general, for the coming academic year
Learning Disabilities Branch: Lucy Cleden-Radford
I’m Lucy, 20, beginning my third year in Learning Disability Nursing in Nottingham and generally loving it (though, I confess, I will never be a morning person and I never “get used to” waking at 5am).
I’ve been a member of a charity called Special Kids in the UK since before it officially existed, it’s presence in my life and my younger brother who has autism are huge reasons for me being on this course. I’m from a very close family and we tell each other perhaps more than most do.
I love to write. I thought studying nursing meant writing would fall by the wayside, with the exception of my blogs, one of which is just falling short of 6 years old (this always amazes me when I meet children that age).
This opportunity means I can write, not just about my daily life and insignificant interests, but about what matters in nursing, being a student and anything involved in my future career.
I hope to learn in this role, to read more articles from other student editors in my position and those who are out there in the vast world of nursing already. I want to make connections, learn names, talk to people who care about nursing and educate those who don’t, have contact with people with opinions like mine and those with opposing views, widening my perspective.
It will help me make better use of my free time, and I’m one of those people who work much better under pressure so an extra challenge is always embraced.
I should probably mention that I can form opinions about anything, just give me a little information first.
Childrens’ Branch: Chloe Alden-Dennis
I’m Chloe and I studying children’s nursing on the postgraduate pre-registration course at the University of Southampton. I used to work for
a charity with disabled children and young people and I then married, had 3 children of my own before deciding to take the seemingly huge and scary step to apply to train as a nurse.
People thought I was brave, although I think they were politely trying to avoid saying ‘mad’. How would I juggle everything? Let’s just say, I felt the fear and did it anyway.
The first year is scary but exciting. You are fresh meat in your uniform that announces you’re a student from 20 paces away and you enter the new ward with the sole intention of finding good places to hide. Slowly, you realise that asking questions and getting involved in what is going on is more interesting than lurking in the shadows for 12 hours.
You go home buzzing, excited at what you have seen, shared and achieved. The people you meet inspire you to keep going. There are amazing tales of children and families with such determination, resilience and spirit.
If they can do it, so can you.
The lectures and assignments can feel like they get in the way of all the practical learning you take part in on placement but it’s a good opportunity to consolidate your knowledge and see where you are at in your development.
It is also a welcome opportunity to sit and sob about how tired you are over an enormous coffee with your other weary student nurse friends!
I can honestly say I don’t regret making the decision to train to be a children’s nurse and I am really excited about hearing from others who have chosen this journey.
Adult Branch: Leanne Siekiera
Hello, my name’s Leanne. I’m 33, married and have a 16 year old son. I am studying BSc (Hons) adult nursing at the University of Wolverhampton and am currently at the start of my 3rd year.
Previously a health care assistant, I applied to do my nursing degree as I wanted to further my knowledge and build upon what I had already experienced.
I cannot express enough just how grateful I am that I was given the opportunity to do my nurse training. I have embraced and appreciated every part and will continue to do so. Leaving school early with no qualifications has meant working extra hard, especially with the academic side of the course.
My love for the profession and determination to do the best I can have certainly helped me through. The wellbeing of patients is my main priority and the course has enabled me to become a confident patient advocate.
I have had amazing experiences and met wonderful people who have all helped me develop as a student nurse. I will be introducing you to some of them!
I was delighted to be chosen as the 2014/15 adult branch student nurse editor. It has always been my intention to apply in my final year, as I make the transition from a student to a newly qualified nurse. I believe that taking on the role of editor at this stage will be a huge benefit to myself and hopefully to others.
This time may be an especially daunting period for many; I know it will be for me! Through my blog I will aim to answer questions, source out tips and advice and bring you an insight into the feelings of my colleagues at this exciting but uncertain time.
I want to bring you a fresh new look as I take on the role of editor. My blog will be visual and interactive with people that are part of my student nurse journey. It is important for me to acknowledge that many people work as a team to make the course possible. I will be exploring their roles and the influence they have upon the course; as well as sharing my personal experiences and views.
I look forward to sharing my 3rd year with you all and hope that you enjoy and benefit from the topics that I share.
Mental Health Branch: Rebecca Kidman
I am a second year BSc Mental Health Nursing student at Birmingham City University. I started in April 2013 and qualify April 2016. I am originally from
East Anglia, most recently Cambridge. I moved to Birmingham to do the course and to see the wider world (of the West Midlands…).
My first degree was in Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. I have worked in a variety of roles over the years including Lab Technician, Medical Secretary, NHS Team Secretary (community mental health team) and a University of Cambridge Administrator.
I was also a supply teacher in schools for a number of years which built my confidence.
This combination of roles along with interesting personal experiences of mental health issues made me come to the slightly late realisation that perhaps becoming a mental health nurse was a good idea. I like to think of myself as a late bloomer.
Hopefully, I can take these experiences professionally and personally in to my work as a mental health nurse.
In addition, I qualified as a Personal Trainer and I have taught fitness classes for over the last five years and continue to do so whilst being on the course. I aim to be a role model for my participants but also to other students.
However, part of this comes with knowing I don’t always get it right.
My interests lie in the importance of educating others on the role of nutrition, sleep and exercise in promoting good mental health. I applied for the role wanting to share my experiences on the course and to help other students feel they are not alone. I want to show other students it is possible to look after yourself on the course, promote debate and make the most of opportunities.
In addition to blogging, your student editors will be running takeovers of the @StudentNT twitter feed - promoting discussions around topical issues relating to your branch of nursing. They will also be active on the Nursing Times instagram account.Their aim is to represent YOU so get in touch - use twitter, SNT Facebook or the comments section below.