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Nursing student praises practical experience on Wrexham Glyndŵr University course

A student on Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s new Adult Nursing degree has praised the practical experience she has gained in her first year of study.

Natasha Graham, from Banbridge, in County Down, came to the university to study the BN (Hons) in Adult Nursing after looking for degrees which she wasn’t able to find closer to home.

She said: “There are actually very few universities in Northern Ireland that do nursing, and when I was looking for courses, Glyndŵr’s was one which appealed. I came over for an interview for the course and I liked it – it seemed really friendly.

“I was 18 when I started and I am 19 now – I am the youngest on my course!

“The course has been really good. There has been a lot of lectures and you’re also given the chance to hear lots of talks relating to the subject too. It’s really worth taking those up.”

The degree has also been designed so that students get a 50/50 mix of study and practical experience – something that Natasha has found particularly interesting.

She said: “We spend a lot of time out on placements – we have four of these a year, three five week placements and one six week one. They are all based in different settings – they are medical, surgical, district – which I am doing at the moment – and then I will be finishing off with a nursing home placement.

“You get a lot of practical, hands on experience. I’ve been at the orthopaedic centre at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt hospital, at the Countess of Chester respiratory ward, and I’m currently working in Ellesmere in a district role.

“I had never really thought about district nursing, but I am actually really loving it – it has been my favourite placement so far. It’s all about getting out in the community, to people who may not be able to make it to hospital regularly, and helping them in their own homes.

“The other placements were valuable too – the orthopaedic placement in Gobowen was about observing procedures as they were carried out, and then assisting with aftercare –changing dressings, cleaning wounds and things like that. It was really interesting and you learnt a lot.

“The respiratory placement was hugely helpful – obviously, it is really important to see first hand the kinds of conditions that you will be dealing with as a nurse – and how hospitals like the Countess of Chester deal with them.

“My next placement is with Ottley House, near Shrewsbury, and I’m really looking forward to that too.”

Natasha has credited the close-kit and friendly atmosphere at the university with helping her to settle in after moving from Northern Ireland to North Wales.

She said: “It was quite difficult at the start. I’m from a really big family and it was hard to adjust to student life somewhere else. Everyone here at Glyndŵr helped me to settle in well though – my lecturers always made it clear that if you needed someone to talk to, they were there to help.”

The BN (Hons) Registered Nurse (Adult) course that Natasha is studying on launched at Wrexham Glyndŵr University last year. The university was ranked top in Wales and third in the UK for student satisfaction in nursing in the 2019 Complete University Guide rankings released earlier this year.

It is delivered at the Wrexham Glyndŵr campus which boasts ample parking, excellent sports facilities and student accommodation.

Practice Educator Facilitator Deborah Cheadle said: “Natasha has been doing really well and has really found her feet since she’s been here.

“Gaining practical, hands-on experience at some of the UK’s most respected health boards and community trusts is central to our Adult Nursing degree. It is this kind of experience which brings our theoretical teaching to life – and which really makes a difference to students like Natasha.”

More on Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s BN (Hons) Registered Nurse (Adult) course can be found here.

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