Jenny Ash, BSc (Hons) Learning Disability NursingThird year student Jenny is on a quest – she's doing everything she can to prepare herself for a career helping those with learning disabilities
Learning to help
"I originally applied for the BA Social Work course at LSBU, and came to find out more at an open day. I met the Course Director for the Learning Disability Nursing course and was really excited by being able to specialise in learning disabilities for three years instead. When they offered me a place I accepted before my other choices responded."
Taking time to adjust to life in London after moving from Dorset, Jenny eventually found the community spirit on the course and the support from the nursing team helped her enjoy the course more and more.
"The student team are such an amazing bunch. We have created a tight community over the past two years. We share information constantly, probably because we are all really passionate about being involved in really good quality services for people with learning disabilities. We've become a bit of a family; we celebrate birthdays, weddings and good times together, and support each other through difficulty. It feels good to know I'll be meeting them as colleagues in practice soon. The expertise from the learning disabilities nursing team is really broad, and they go out of their way to bring their experiences alive in the classroom. They know everybody individually, and they care about how to progress you with your goals."
It probably sounds really cliché to say, but the really important achievements in nursing are quite often the things no one notices! You might be working with someone who doesn't use speech or written language, so you don't get certificates and 'thank you's, but there is still achievement, pride and reward for both of you. It's really important to value the unsaid things sometimes.
Student nurse of the year
Jenny was surprised and a little embarrassed to discover she was shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Award as Student Nurse of the Year. One of the main reasons for the nomination has been Jenny's academic success, as she is on track for a first class honours degree.
"I think a lecturer nominated me. I haven't made a big fuss of it really. The concept of there being a 'best' student is a bit odd, everyone works so hard. I hope it's a commendation that can be shared by the whole group. It belongs to everyone because most of my knowledge comes from the experiences other students have shared."