From an early age, Eden Wildman knew that nursing was the career for her. “I’ve always wanted to care for people and help them when they are most vulnerable,” she says. “I enjoy challenges and knew nursing would always push me, however experienced I become. Most of all, I wanted a career I could be proud of, something nursing certainly offers me.”
After studying for A-levels and an Access to Nursing course in Devon, Eden headed to London to take up her place studying BSc (Hons) Children's Nursing at LSBU. “LSBU’s location was definitely a big factor in my decision,” she says. “It has good links with London hospitals, which I knew would provide me with lots of opportunities to gain valuable work experience. The curriculum was also well balanced, and offered the right blend of units that I wanted to study.”
Practical, focused education
Since starting her degree, Eden has been pleased to find that her hopes for a practical, focused education at LSBU have been realised thanks to a combination of excellent work placements and support at LSBU. “We learned basic skills before we went out on placement, so they weren’t new to us. That support continues after you start doing placements, with skills sessions helping you do things that you might not get the chance to do on the ward – setting up IV fluids and accessing lines, for example.”
The University has been really supportive when it comes to ensuring we are ready for placements.
LSBU’s student nurses have access to personal tutors who act as a first point of contact, which Eden finds reassuring. “We also have link lectures with our host trust if we do have problems on placements,” she explains, “so you always feel well supported and able to raise any issues.”
LSBU’s central location has had another added benefit for Eden and her course mates, in addition to the strong links with London hospitals: “Because you don’t need to leave London for your placements, it means you can stay in your accommodation for three years without having the complication of finding private rents to live in near to your placement settings. We’re so well-located that getting to most London hospitals is not too complicated, and that can make a big difference!”
Eden’s host trust for her training has been Guys and St Thomas’, so she has been able to complete all her training at Evelina London Children’s Hospital – something she feels has given her career a great start. “I’m very proud to be completing my training there, and I hope to work there once I graduate too,” she says.
Eden’s plans for the future focus on staying at Evelina for a two-year rotation on two wards and a specialist ward. After that, she intends to move a little closer to home, possibly to Bristol Children’s Hospital. Wherever her career takes her, Eden feels well-prepared for the challenges she might face. “Studying at LSBU will help me with my future plans as it is widely recognised that training in London gives you opportunities at the best and most respected hospitals and learning environments,” she says.
LSBU has links to prestigious children’s hospitals too, and gives you all the opportunities you need to gain experience that looks great on your CV and really helps your development as a professional.
Eden’s next step, however, is a little further afield. “Along with two other students, I’m heading to Nepal on my elective placement,” she says. “Some people choose to go to a hospital they want to work at, or a community setting, while others use the opportunity to go abroad and experience healthcare in a different culture. I’m really excited about doing just that in Nepal, and gaining a different healthcare perspective.”
Grab every opportunity
Eden’s advice to students considering following in her footsteps is to make sure they choose a course that will deliver learning in a way that suits them. “I learn best when I am physically shown how to do something and then try it for myself,” she says. “That meant I was well suited for some elements of the course, but had to adapt to cope with lectures and some other learning environments.”
Eden’s other piece of advice is to, “Grab every opportunity presented to you, because your time is very precious once you are qualified. Make the most of being a student, and keep on top of your academic work,” she says. “And make sure that you push yourself on placements to gain as much experience as you possibly can.”