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Studying in autumn 2020 during coronavirus

A passion for nursing

Having left school several decades ago, Adult Nursing BSc student Lisa Lewington was apprehensive about going back to studying. But her passion for nursing, and unwavering support from her tutors and fellow students, meant she's loved the experience and can't wait to start her career.

"When I first visited the Middlesex campus, I felt immediately relaxed and inspired. I knew it was the perfect place for me to study nursing.

As a 'very' mature student – I left school in 1986 – I'd worried I might find the academic side of nursing quite hard. But there's plenty of support at Middlesex, like a free service where they review your essays and make suggestions on how to improve them.

Plus, the life experience you bring as a mature student can make you more empathetic and confident – important skills for nursing."

On work placements, you see the reality of what you've been learning

"Middlesex has excellent resources and equipment. The skills labs are great. There's even a room set out to replicate a side room in the hospital. The mannequins are surprisingly realistic – the lecturer can control them so you get a pulse and vital signs on a screen, and you can treat it as though you're on work placement. We have to wear uniform too, which helps put you in the role of a student nurse.

I've loved all my work placements. Over the three years, you spend time on medical, surgical and short-stay wards, so you get a bit of everything. This year, I've been on the coronary care unit. It was amazing. I learnt so much from my mentor.

When you go on work placements and spend time with patients, you see the reality of what you've been learning in class. Your placement mentors and hospital staff are great for giving advice. With their help, everything you've been learning starts to consolidate and tie nicely together."

My tutors have been so encouraging

"I had to defer my third year as I have son with complex needs who was seriously ill in hospital. Middlesex has been absolutely amazing. Now I'm back at uni, they've done everything they can to help me keep going, like making sure my placements are based near to my home, and being flexible when I've had to take time out for my son's hospital appointments. My tutors have been so encouraging and positive about my work too.

My advice for new students would be that if you have an issue, always speak up as Middlesex will do everything they can to support you. I gain so much from the group of friends I've made on my course too. You go through your journey together and support each other.

There's a real mix of people studying adult nursing – from eighteen year-olds who've come straight from A Levels to people in their 40s and older, like me. Some are new to the field, others are health care assistants stepping up to do nursing. They all have a lot of experience you can learn from."

It's been a really positive experience

"Studying for my degree has been a really positive experience, despite facing so many personal challenges this year. It's thanks to all the support from the Middlesex tutors and my group of friends that I've got to where I am.

I'm not sure yet exactly what I'll do when I qualify. When I started my course, I was sure it would be A&E nursing, but I've loved all the different work experience during my degree, and a couple of placements have asked me to come back to them when I finish studying. It's made it hard to decide what I want to do! But I know I've got a lot of great options and I'm excited to graduate."

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