Deborah tells us how her Postgraduate Taught Scholarship has helped her focus on her studies, whilst keeping up her work as a nurse in a busy orthopaedic unit. Through pursuing Cardiff University’s MSc Advanced Practice, Deborah aims to improve her knowledge and skills in order to improve her employability.
Can you tell us a little bit about the programme in your own words?
“The programme is about making healthcare practitioners extremely more critical and broad minded. It essentially teaches us to think outside of the box and not take things at face value. It encourages students to challenge existing ideas and synthesise new ones. All of these skills it is hoped will help the future development and evolution of the healthcare environment improving care for society as a whole.”
What did the Postgraduate Taught Scholarship mean to you?
“It has helped me tremendously. Obtaining the scholarship was an absolute honour and I was flattered to have been chosen. When you tell people that you are a scholarship student it seems to give them a good impression of you, as though you are someone that works hard and wants to do their best, this I hope I am living up to! I still work part-time as a nurse but it has enabled me to reduce the amount of hours I work so I can spend more time on my studies. This I have been extremely grateful for. My scholarship has given me the opportunity to take a step closer to achieving my dreams.”
Have you been able to secure funding from other places, how else are you supporting your studies?
“As mentioned above I work part time (24hrs a week) as a staff nurse in a busy orthopaedic unit. It can cut into my study time on occasion and I don’t always anticipate the tiredness that accompanies such work. However I just do my best to carry on as I know the end result will be worth it. I have all my life to work full time and earn more money but this course will essentially give me something many cannot buy, the skills and knowledge to work at an advanced level.”
What were your motivations for undertaking a postgraduate degree?
“I wanted to improve myself, my knowledge, my practice and my skills to enable me to be a better nurse and provide a high standard of care to my patients/clients. I hope to eventually work overseas and believe this degree will improve my chances of obtaining a job substantially.”
Why did you decide to do your postgraduate degree at Cardiff?
“I have studied for two undergraduate degrees at Cardiff University and have liked the teaching I have been given, especially the pastoral support and care provided by the School of Nursing and Midwifery team. I am from Cardiff also and so am very proud to attend Cardiff University. I also like Cardiff as a city and enjoy living close to all my family and friends whilst studying. They have been a tremendous support.”
Is there anything about your postgraduate course that has stood out in your experience?
“It is definitely a step up from bachelor level, you are expected to critically evaluate everything and look into the details of everything you read/study. There is also room for creativity however which is quite new to me but is something I am enjoying. We are encouraged to come up with our own ideas based on sound evidence of course and plan how we could implement these into practice to prompt change and development.”
What do you think of Cardiff as a place to live as a postgraduate?
“Cardiff is a fantastic city, it has everything you could ask for shops, culture, sports and nature all close by. As a postgraduate there are plenty of libraries easily accessible and lots of hospitals for nurses who may be thinking of studying this programme and need to still work also.”
How do you think your postgraduate course will contribute to your future career plans?
“I think this course will improve my ability to essentially live my dream of working overseas helping minority communities to receive better healthcare and in turn playing my part in helping to reduce the huge inequalities in health that exist in the world today.”
Has studying for a postgraduate degree at Cardiff University lived up to your expectations?
“Definitely, the course is as challenging as I expected and I have received excellent support from all the staff I have worked with.”
What have been your biggest achievements as a postgraduate student at Cardiff University?
“At present, having just finished my first term, my biggest achievement has been passing my research exam in which I was really pleased if not shocked by the quite high mark I achieved. I have also completed one of assignments and am still working on another due to be submitted next month so I cannot comment on these at present. I have also met some wonderful people, students and lecturers alike who I have made good friendships with and I hope to keep in touch with in the future.”
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