Guest blogger Written by

Hello everyone, my name is Charlotte Collins and I have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Adult Nursing. I had a fantastic time at BU although the road to my success in being a graduate was somewhat long and at times challenging. Before I began my BU journey I had self doubt about my academic abilities which ultimately greatly affected my confidence. This may have been attributed to having little support in middle and high school which definitely affected my learning. Leaving school with few GCSEs I began my nursing journey and excelled, although to be accepted into university I had to spend 2/3 years at college.

When I arrived at BU the academic support was truly outstanding, I have never been so supported in my academic studies. The support from Additional Learning Support (ALS), lecturers and my academic adviser accelerated my learning so much so that I had the confidence to present my story at the ‘BU Mind the Gap: Students’ perspective on their transition to University symposium’ in May 2018 as well as at the national Nurse Education Programmes: Catalyst Event in London 2017.

At BU I wanted to give students, particularly those with disabilities, the confidence to seek advice and support academically. This extended to placements where I presented to second years on malpractice in placements, how to address this and the importance of students feeling safe to self-disclose. By every paper I wrote, speech I presented and student who I supported my confidence flourished. By the time I reached my third year of studies I remember a conversation I had with my academic adviser. She informed me that she had nominated me for a national award, the Nursing Times student of the year (Adult) and that I had been shortlisted. I couldn’t quite believe what she had just told me. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to complete the first month of university let alone be nominated and shortlisted for a national award! This came as a complete shock and I didn’t know how to react at first.

I remember thinking ‘why me, am I good enough?’ but then I thought about how far I had come, that I had not only successfully completed the first month of university but excelled through to my third year and in this time supported fellow students, local care initiatives and annual care conferences alongside publishing reflective articles in professional journals to share my experiences and my learning from them with other students. Now I am finding my feet as a newly-qualified nurse in a local NHS trust! It goes to show how being academically supported can impact a person personally and – in my case – clinically too which has been life changing for me.

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