Why did you choose to enter the Nursing profession?
It wasn’t an easy decision! I was 36 when I applied and I am married with 4 children. I was working in the hospital pharmacy for four and a half years. Within this role I liaised with nurses on a daily basis, and they encouraged me to become a healthcare assistant, working mainly at weekends. I saw first-hand how amazing the job was and knew that it was definitely for me.
Who were your influencers?
My wife was a fantastic influence, she strongly encouraged me to apply and continues to be extremely supportive and encouraging. Staff that I continue to work with in the hospital have been fantastic, many of which are great role models.
Why do you think men are put off by Nursing as a career choice?
It is seen as a predominantly female role. However more men are choosing it as a career choice, particularly because of the many opportunities that are available. In our year, my group has approximately 50 students of which there are at least 10 males, more than I had initially thought! We all get on really well, as we have great respect for each other.
Have you received any negative impressions by your choice of career and how have you overcome those?
Thankfully no, although I am sure I will. I try to surround myself with positive people which helps a lot. People tend to have great respect for nurses, and the difficult, yet rewarding job they do.
Tell us about the educational path you took to get in to Nursing.
Unfortunately my A levels didn’t go according to plan, therefore I had to undertake an access course for 2 nights a week, for 2 years. At the time I thought “it’s another 2 years I now have to wait”, but the time flew in and my UCAS form was completed at the start of year 2. The course was particularly good as it helped me get back into education, writing essays and referencing.
Did you have a placement opportunity? Tell us a bit about that.
Within my first year I have had a hospital placement and a community placement. Both were very different but very enjoyable. As a student, you are designated an experienced nurse as a mentor and they help you through the process for your allocated time there. The university also has a link lecturer who checks your progress regularly and addresses any issues which you may encounter during your placement.
How have you enjoyed your course so far?
The course has been very enjoyable. I have met loads of new people and undertook and passed exams and assignments which a few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to! The course also has a good mix of university time and practice learning and getting to put the skills into practice is exciting. The time has flown by, I am just about half way through my degree and I am very excited about the next year and a half.
If you were to pitch this course to a prospective male student,what would you say?
My only regret is that I didn’t undertake this career path a lot sooner. An A level student has this opportunity and I would strongly encourage them to do so. There are so many opportunities and career paths and it is extremely rewarding. It also gives you a qualification which can take you just about anywhere in the world to work. Just because you are male don’t let that put you off, in fact let it encourage and motivate you more.
What has been your favourite part of your degree to date?
Finding out my exam results, meeting new people and discovering how many different roles are available within the nursing profession. It has also provided me with opportunities such as speaking at the Nursing Insight evening to give my perspective as a student and representing the University at a conference in Belfast in December.
Come to our information event ” Men in Nursing Insight Event”
Meet our lecturers and students from our nursing courses and also hear from graduates, who are currently working in the nursing profession. Register to attend below.