Stacey Produced by

2nd year

BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing (with Foundation Year)

Before joining Bournemouth University, I worked as a health care assistant in a hospital on the Merseyside known as Arrowe Park Hospital. At the start of the COVID lockdown, I needed a career progression.

The NHS does offer career progression whilst on the job. However, I felt university was better as I wanted to experience what it would be like studying in a lecture-like setting and what a university student’s routine would be like.

As the lockdown progressed, uncertainty increased; I left Merseyside and moved back home with my parents in East Sussex in a small town called Bexhill-on-sea. Even if I was close to my family, I still wanted to study instead of starting life at home. During the lockdown, I worked a zero-contract job at a local pub as a kitchen assistant/waitress and earned a furlough wage, which wasn’t that great, but staying at home was not of interest even if it was a global rule to stay at home.

While I helped at the local pub, a job opportunity arose when the NHS called back all healthcare professionals to help in hospitals as COVID-19 responders to help with the pandemic. I saw this as a chance to join my hometown NHS trust, where I worked as part of the accident and emergency team in response to the COVID crisis. With me back to work, I thought my goal to further my studies had stopped, but it had only begun.

During my days off work, I looked at the Bournemouth University course website for available health courses and one time; I saw a new course that offered Adult Nursing with a Foundation Year—I saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With honesty, when I completed my GCSEs, I did not achieve a good Mathematics grade, but the foundation year did not require GCSEs. This gave me a chance to achieve the grade alongside learning other course units that helped me get onto the Adult Nursing course; hence, I took the opportunity and applied for a place at Bournemouth to complete a degree in Adult Nursing but with a Foundation Year and I attained an unconditional offer following a successful interview.

I had been out of the school for a long time, and I wasn’t confident that going straight for the first year would work for me as I could barely even construct a paragraph on an essay. Funny enough, I attended the Purbeck school in Wareham and grew up in a little village just before Swanage as we all know it, Corfe village, well known for its historical medieval landmark Corfe Castle. I later moved away to East Sussex as my parents had found new jobs. Going to secondary school not far from Bournemouth made me want to return and complete my higher education in Dorset.

Coming back to Dorset felt like a life fulfilment as this was a home away from home for me. Let me stop talking about myself and tell you what completing a Foundation Year course at Bournemouth University is like. I remember the course structure involved in-person and online lectures with mandatory attendance and completion of a criminal record check for health and social sciences students and an occupational health check.

The subject units comprised mathematics in science, introduction to psychology, life, and environmental sciences, introduction to biology, applied sciences, academic skills, and a foundation year project. Each unit had an online test and coursework with an overall pass mark of 40% to progress onto the first-year degree. I remember the project was coursework based on a literature review.

The academic study skills unit taught me the importance of good literature review, reliable research sources, plagiarism, and how to build and construct an essay. With the life and environmental science unit, we visited the university laboratory and used the lab apparatuses. We did not have to complete placement time. For students hoping to pursue a degree in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, I remember when I completed my foundation year, we were not eligible for the NHS bursary unless that had been revised since the 2021/22 academic year; hence, I had to work over the weekend and budget my student maintenance loan properly.

Unlike the first-year students who received the bursary each week for psychology, we had a chapter to read and a quiz to complete. I ensured I kept up with all my pre-reading, completed all my coursework on time, and attended lectures where I could ask questions on topic areas that I found confusing. On top of completing the foundation year, I was a student representative for the foundation year group, which helped develop my communication and solution-finding skills. The course duration is roughly nine months, starting in September each year, depending on your course choice.

I joined the student halls of residency at Cranborne House for many different accommodation options. I met two student midwives, three first-year student nurses and one foundation-year student nurse with me in the seventh. It was a good mix as the other student midwives and nurses were there for academic help and guidance. I completed the course around May time of 2022, having started September 2021. I passed with a Distinction and am now starting my second year of the adult nursing degree.

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