For Chynna Toovey, an adult nursing degree from BU helped to fulfil her ambition to forge a career helping others.
Chynna completed her degree in 2019 and is now a Senior Staff Nurse at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust. She said: “I always knew that I wanted to work in a profession that helped others and realised, even before taking my GCSEs, that I wanted to be a nurse. I loved the fact that it is so diverse and that you can take different routes in your career.”
Reflecting on her decision to choose to study at BU, Chynna said: “The location was a big factor. I also loved the atmosphere of the university and the staff seemed passionate about their jobs when I visited for the open day. Once I had started the course, I really valued the mixture of practical and theory. With a career such as nursing, it is essential that you get hands-on experience and there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in your placements. I learnt so much from those placements that I still carry with me and draw on now.
“My lecturers were great in helping us all prepare for our interviews for our first posts as registered nurses. Admittedly, it is still very daunting finishing your studies and going into the real world of work, but I felt a great sense of achievement. At that point, I felt ready to take on the next step of learning which was adjusting to being a newly qualified nurse.”
After graduating, Chynna began working in intensive care and went on to complete a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Critical Care at BU, which means she can work as a Senior Staff Nurse. She said: “I feel very proud to have achieved what I have so far. In 2022, I was also fortunate enough to be deployed to Montserrat in the West Indies for six weeks, to aid their first Covid-19 outbreak. This was a fantastic experience for my career, as the way of nursing was different to what we are used to here, so adaptability was important.”
Back in the UK, Chynna enjoys following and supporting patients on their journey throughout intensive care. She said: “Patients arrive with us very sick and in need of urgent care. To see them improve from this and, eventually step down to a ward for rehabilitation or go home, is a real honour.”
With her student days behind her, Chynna has this advice for others starting out on their nursing training and career: “Expect challenges – it is unlikely to be an easy ride – but it is absolutely worth it. Take time to look after yourself and take time to be kind to yourself, as you can spend so much time caring for others that you forget to make time for you. Take every opportunity that comes your way, even if it feels scary. The best things in my nursing career, including my time as a student, came from stepping outside of my comfort zone and I never had any regrets afterwards.”