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Rachael Voase

Career Path: Community Staff Nurse, NHS Scotland
Location: North Berwick, UK

I started my career in healthcare in 2005 as a healthcare assistant, my aim was always to gain the relevant qualifications to apply to do the adult nursing degree. I worked extremely hard to complete NVQ qualifications followed by an access to nursing diploma which I undertook at the same time as working and travelling 120 miles round trips to attend. In 2015 I was offered a place to study adult nursing at Northumbria University and graduated with a first class honours degree in 2018. My first post as a qualified nurse was in Berwick Infirmary which is where my journey had originally begun. I worked there for 10 months before being offered my dream post of community staff nurse within a rural community setting. I have been a community staff nurse for 8 months now working for NHS Scotland in a small town called North Berwick.

What are you doing now?Rachael Voase

I am working as a community staff nurse in a small district nursing team in North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

At the time of studying I lived in Berwick-Upon-Tweed which is 60 miles from Newcastle and the same for Edinburgh, however I was born in Newcastle and my heart was to attain my goal of becoming a qualified nurse in my original roots. Likewise. Northumbria University had an excellent reputation for nursing and I had experience of working in Northumbria Healthcare trust which is where I undertook all of my placements.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

There was a fair mixture of lectures and seminars, at times there could be days where you would be allocated a 2 hour seminar or lecture, which was frustrating when I had so far to travel. However I made the most of resources available at Coach Lane campus.

How connected was your course with industry?

Very connected, 50/50 on theory and practice. We had lots of guest speakers which included people who become expert patients in their own health issues. Then a power and dementia-related project that helps people with a dementia diagnosis feel valued and gives them a purpose.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

In nursing it is essential that you attain practice placement hours in accordance with the NMC. Therefore it was paramount to my nursing degree to attend all my designated placement areas.

What was the best thing about your course?

Meeting new people and I made friends for life. Learning opportunities and clinical skills were achieved.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

It gave me the fundamentals that I needed to be able to go out as a registered professional.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The ability to reflect on practice and clinical skills I use daily in my current nursing post.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Meeting new people who have become friends for life.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

I would highly recommend Northumbria University as the lecturers were very supportive and approachable. I would advise future students to plan and be organised and don’t allow things to mount up as before you know it you have 2 assignments due in and you're on placement full-time. Start collecting evidence as soon as possible to achieve practice competencies. Write reflections and find a model that suits you.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Fun Busy Rewarding

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