The road to becoming an adult nurse

Amreen is an adult learner who studies BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing at the University of Bradford. She tells us about her journey to becoming an adult nurse.



Amreen Mehnaz, BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing

Starting point

This may seem somewhat amusing to read, but every time I would go to A & E or to visit someone in the hospital, I was always amazed and inspired when I looked at the nurses in action.

I saw it all, from screaming patients to the relief of patients when a nurse had attended to them. They would stand for hours attending to every buzzer that went off and always try to do their best. These inspirational nurses helped me in cementing my desire to be one of them and carry on with their exceptional work. I have been told by many that I have a caring nature and felt that becoming an adult nurse would be a perfect career for me in the future. I remember the palliative nurse who cared for my grandma in her final hours, telling me that I should carry on my grandma’s legacy as she was a nurse in her time too.

Words into action

I started off with going back to college to get my GCSEs and completed my access course in nursing and midwifery.

At first, I applied for midwifery but was rejected. This was a big blow to my confidence. I felt as though I had overestimated myself. I am lucky, as my friends and the Recruitment and Outreach Team at the University of Bradford helped me to carry on pursuing my dream and I got offered an interview for adult nursing.

This was perfect for me as I initially wanted to specialise as an assisted conception nurse. I was absolutely shocked when I secured my place for adult nursing. Wow, how excited I was. I went on a shopping spree and got a whole load of new stationery, a rucksack, books, folders -the lot. I’ve hardly used the stuff, but the feeling of buying things for university was so overwhelming.

I still recall the day that the Recruitment and Outreach Team rang me to tell me that I had got a place. As you can imagine, I was screaming in disbelieve and in the background, I could hear so many people cheering for me. It was such an emotional time for me. I dropped out of education in 1998 and being able to get a place at the University of Bradford 20 years on…Well, I think that speaks for itself.

Titanic, but with a happy ending

So, here I am today as a university student, studying to become an adult nurse. Growing up, I would walk past the University and look at the building designed like a ship. I would stand and regret the fact that I dropped out of school and did not carry on my studies, otherwise, I would have been in that building.

Well, guess what? I have made the impossible possible.

Today I stand outside that ship, but not only to look at but to walk in and learn new skills. Without fail, I attend every lesson. I not only attend but I turn up smiling. My days are full of lectures and seminars, clinical skills and placements. It is a lot to take in and a lot of people come to university as well as having other responsibilities, fair enough. I have a lot of responsibilities of my own, I am a cake baker and decorator at home and a full-time housewife, but my lifestyle has not stopped me in my tracks.

The University has given me so much support. I feel I am weak when it comes to academics, the University provides workshops that I found very helpful. They also assign a personal academic tutor (PAT) to every student. My PAT has been so valuable for me reaching this far. I am an adult learner and I need to make a point that help is available.

I loved learning the clinical skills in my course, and when I started to put them in to practice at my placement I had to pinch myself as I could not believe that I actually made it this far.

This is what adult nursing has meant to me. This is what it feels like when dreams come true. I have nearly completed my second placement and seen the change my smile brings to patients. I may not be able to heal their pain, but they can see on my face that I truly want to be there, and want to help them. The Titanic may have sunk in reality, but the Titanic of my dreams is still afloat. This journey has a happy ending, or shall I say it’s a new beginning to bigger and better things.

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