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This is a guest blog by BU graduate Scott Bruce.

First things first, being a qualified nurse is completely different to being a student! You actually get to call yourself a nurse and the buck stops with you! (EEK!… Scary, Right?!)

You find yourself on shift saying things like “I’ll just go and check” or “I’ll get the nurse for you,” but then it dawns on you that you are the nurse. I had always been told that becoming a nurse was like learning to drive… I’ve been driving for 9 years and nursing and driving are two very different things.

You learn to pass the university course but nothing truly prepares you for your first day as a staff nurse, which is when you start learning the true skills of nursing. You have to learn quickly that your priorities change and you have so much more responsibility but fortunately all newly-qualified nurses undergo what is known as “preceptorship.” This is the period of time (usually a year) where you are still considered a “baby nurse” and are still learning the ropes.

During your preceptorship period it’s perfectly fine to not know everything. In fact, there’s no nurse in the world who knows everything about nursing. Fortunately the support from the ward team and doctors is fantastic and you find yourself learning new things every day.

I’ve already advanced my skills thanks to courses from the education and training department and feel so much more comfortable in my knowledge and decision making on the ward.

Long story short, nursing is challenging but if you’re reading this and considering Adult Nursing as a future vocation, you should make the most of your peers and colleagues to advance your knowledge and skills during your preceptorship period. Nursing is about lifelong learning and I’m so glad I made the step into the profession! It is still the most rewarding job ever… despite the days when you feel completely out of your depth. BU helped me get to where I am today and I am beyond glad I made the decision to go to university so I can do what I enjoy every day.

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