Why did you choose to enter the Nursing profession?
I was very fortunate when I finished school to be offered a job in University College Hospital Galway as a porter. Through working in various departments in the hospital including Accident and Emergency, I was able to see first-hand the pivotal role a nurse plays in delivering primary care in a hospital setting. Furthermore, it was very clear to see the bond health care staff have with each other, even with the workload pressures of an acute and busy hospital setting.
Who were your influencers?
In a personal capacity I have a very supportive wife and four energetic children who really got behind my decision to leave a secure job to pursue my dream career. Professionally, I have worked with some great people both in the private and public sector who have always offered support and guidance in relation to my future career. Since starting this journey to become a registered nurse, I have received very positive comments from family and friends for taking the decision to leave a secure job, but also for the joining the nursing profession.
Why do you think men are put off by Nursing as a career choice?
The role of a nurse has historically been perceived to be a female profession, through societal beliefs and the role of the nurse portrayed through the mass media. Additionally, some elements of nursing care such as assisting a person with personal hygiene, for a young man, may be a bit off putting. However, as we know, this forms a very small but important part of the nursing role.
Have you received any negative impressions by your choice of degree/ career and how have you overcome those?
At times certain friends may pass a derogatory comment in relation to “Men in Nursing”, however they are the same friends, that when sick or when they have a medical question, will come to me for support and guidance. But if I was to worry about what people thought of me or my future job as a nurse, I would never have achieved what I have to date. In general, I have found people to be receptive and very complimentary in my chosen profession.
Tell us about the educational path you took to get in to Nursing.
I completed the Irish Leaving Cert in 2000. Unfortunately I did not receive the required grades for direct entry to nursing. I completed an Access Diploma in Social Science through South West College Dungannon. The course allowed me to develop as a student but also provide a foundation for both a successful university application and life as a university student.
How have you enjoyed your course so far?
The course has provided me with opportunities both on a personal and professional level. Ulster University has many clubs and societies and in 2nd year I became involved with our nursing society as a committee member. Additionally, I joined the Royal College of Nursing Student Information Officer team and recently joined the Northern Ireland Board for the North West region. All of these activities have been supported by an amazing faculty who love to see students grow and develop.
If you were to pitch this course to a prospective student, what would you say about it?
You gain a university degree and professional qualification. As a nurse you become part of a wider family in a profession that will challenge, support and give you so much. The profession has multiple career paths in a job that makes such a difference to people’s lives. Prior to applying for the degree, I would advise either work/voluntary experience in primary care as it would aid your application and help a student nurse on clinical placement.
What has been your favourite part of your degree to date?
The clinical placements for most students are the best part as you can apply the theory to you practice. Additionally, I was very fortunate to be selected for a four week international placement in Bendigo, Australia. The placement provided the opportunity to work in a surgical day procedure unit. The whole experience, people and place was amazing. The clinical skills I gained have helped me become a better student nurse and hopefully a future registered nurse.
What advice would you give a male considering studying Nursing?
If you are looking for a career that will provide numerous career options, you can travel anywhere in the world and provide the ultimate job satisfaction then nursing is a career for you. To care, support or just offer guidance to someone, there is no better feeling.
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.