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Kaye Walsh

Healthcare Professional Practice MRes

Kaye Walsh

Can you give us a brief biography of your career so far?

As a Children’s nurse who has specialised in congenital heart disease for over 20 years I found myself at a career fork in the road, looking for a new challenge but not wanting to leave the field of nursing that drives my passion and interest.  Making a difference is centre to my professional identity but I have found that the further up the career ladder I climb I am further away from patients and it is more difficult to see the difference I make. 

Why did you decide to study at Northumbria? 

My decision to embark on an Mres was led by my ambition to continue to make a difference to the lives of those living with CHD.  I was very anxious about taking this on, with all the usual fears; not good enough, not clever enough, I cant possibly be a researcher.  Within a short space of time on the programme my fears dispelled and I was excited about the potential of being a part of the research community.  The programme embraced my clinical experience and has guided me through the principles of research within the context of my practice. The course content is relatable and relevant, delivered by a variety of experts, and this supported my learning journey.  I am looking forward to completing my project and proving to myself that I am able to undertake research, something I never through possible. 

What is it like studying at Northumbria? 

I have always studied at Northumbria throughout my career so when I was looking to embark on an MRes I was delighted that this course was on the prospectus.  The programme allows me to utilise my knowledge and experience in my specialist area of practice and develop my skills as a researcher.  This made the learning more applicable to my practice and easily adaptable into my role.   

What was the best thing about your course? 

This course supports clinicians in full time clinical roles to take on further study with a flexible programme and mix of face to face lectures and online learning.  This approach meant I could complete the learning at a time that was convenient to me and my work commitments. The course offered the opportunity to learn from a range of experts in research, which opened my eyes to the research possibilities and potential impact that I could bring to my practice. 

The lecturers were interesting and engaging, sharing their research journeys and the impact they have had on health and social care.  Many of the projects that were shared during lectures inspired me to want to be a part of the research community.

How will the course help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge? 

 The course has inspired me to be a leader in research in my clinical area.  There is potential to develop my role to focus on research and I feel this course has given me the skills to confidently build a research portfolio in my clinical area.  This could have a huge impact on practice and the people living with CHD.

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

Be confident in trying something new.  This course takes you on a journey, step by step, building confidence and skills in research.  

There is always somebody or something to guide and support you, be it a lecturer, a fellow student or a library service. Your views are listened to and appreciated and you always have something to offer.     

How are you going to take your knowledge/ experience and put this into practice? 

Be an advocate and leader in nursing research in my clinical area.  Inspire others to do research to constantly improve and evolve the care and service we deliver for patients and families. 

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