A love of acting and medicine led Charlie Kennedy to study Children’s Nursing at LSBU

“When you’re nursing you work with a whole range of people with different skills, age ranges and backgrounds. The diversity of the university reflects the diversity in the NHS and in Britain today, which makes LSBU a great place to study. You learn to collaborate with everyone.”

I was looking to join a diverse student population.

I took a gap year after school. Until then I’d only been around young people and I wanted to study with people with diverse experiences. When choosing universities, I saw that LSBU had lots of mature students. There are a lot of people on my course with insights and experiences I’ve never had, who have influenced the way I learn and communicate with people.

I was also attracted by LSBU’s London location, plus it has great ties with a number of NHS trusts, including Great Ormond Street Hospital.

I originally planned to do a nursing as a stepping-stone to medicine, but during the course I’ve fallen in love with nursing and decided this is what I want to do as my career. I chose children’s nursing because I love playing around with youngsters. I went to theatre school and this is a perfect blend of my love of acting—communicating with children—and medicine. I love showing my younger side and get to be myself when I’m on the wards.

For me the best thing about the course is the placements.

We’re required to do a set number of hours gaining practical experience, and achieve this through a block of placements followed by a block at uni. Placements can be 4 to 12 weeks long and we work the full 37.5 hours a week, doing 12-hour shifts or 9am to 5pm like qualified nurses. It’s a great experience, and really prepares you for the working world.

I love being on the wards, interacting with the children and the parents. You encounter so much, both happy and sad. It’s a life experience in itself, independent of the clinical skill you acquire.

Every day when I get home I feel like I’ve done something useful. I want to influence lives and help people and grow my community and you get a taste of that when you’re on placement.

The teaching at LSBU is supportive and engaging.

The theory you learn translates seamlessly onto the wards during placements. LSBU also has great facilities, including ward labs and simulator dolls that can be programmed with different clinical conditions.

One of the best things about being at LSBU is the central London location. I live in halls; walk a few minutes and I’m in Borough Market, or I discover another little park in the middle of the city. There’s always something new.

Nursing can be stressful but at the end of each day you’ve really done something, and that’s a valuable feeling.

My end goal is to be a clinical site practitioner—a senior hospital nurse engaged in high-level problem solving—at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I hope my placements at Great Ormond Street Hospital will help me get a job there.

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