My experience studying Adult Nursing at RGU


Ailsa graduated from RGU with a BSc (Hons) in Adult Nursing after lacking fulfilment in her previous roles in retail and sales. With the skills gained at RGU, she is looking forward to develop her career as a Nurse in the next few years. Hear more from her in this blog.

What brought you into nursing?

I worked in a retail management and was made redundant. Then I went into a sales role and even though it was well paid, it came with a lot of personal pressure with little satisfaction. I didn’t want it to be a transaction with the people I met where I needed something from them, I wanted human interaction which was beneficial for the person.

I always enjoyed people interaction and at school loved biology and had been thinking about nursing as a career for some time. My aunt is a Mental Health Nurse. I never thought I could do nursing and I lacked confidence. I noticed that North East Scotland College had clearing for the Health and Social Care course, so I applied and started five days later.

I took the college interview on my phone hiding in the workplace and said to the lady interviewing me, ‘if boss walks in, I will have to hang up’ as I couldn’t afford to lose my job. She was a very supportive interviewer who I connected up with during my course as she now works in the NHS as a Practice Education Facilitator. The course provided me with the option for social work or nursing and I knew at that point in time nursing really was for me.

What course did you do and why? What were the challenges?

I selected BSc (Hons) Nursing – Adult because I enjoy making a difference for people. Most of my interactions to that point in time were with people of all ages, so I felt I could do the same in nursing. The biggest challenge for me during the course was ‘life management’ and trying to study a course and learning to budget. With rent to pay, other living costs, placement and study to juggle, while trying to still live a ‘champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget’, was hard.

The nursing course is organised and highly structured with all your placement times and annual leave mapped out for the duration, so the work life balance needs a good routine. Being successful has now given me the skills and knowledge to do what I want for the next 40 years.

What does your career look like going forward?

My placement experiences have been amazing and have given me a flavour for the career opportunities that lie ahead. I enjoyed working as a student in both the neurological and endocrinology departments, and I will now work as a staff nurse in a general medical ward.

In the future, I plan to become a specialist nurse in either Parkinson’s disease or diabetes. I get a real satisfaction from teaching students and have really enjoyed my degree experience so much I might also think about a teaching career. However, I won’t plan too much as I am open to opportunities that come my way. Life is like that, and you have to be ready for what comes!

Ailsa Davidson

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