“BU prepared me for my further studies and career. Now I’m back as a lecturer I like the ethos of student experience being a priority and truly hope we can improve the facilities with the new build for our nursing students”

Graduating from BU in 2003 with a BSc (Hons) in Child Health Nursing, Katie Ryan decided that finance would play a role in deciding where she chose to study, but little did she realise that she’d eventually return to where it all started.

“I chose BU to do my undergraduate course, so that I could live at home with my parents and keep costs down as I did not receive a bursary," she said. 

“I love Dorset and I grew up in Dorchester. Having been to London for a period of time, and now living in Weymouth, I have truly learnt to appreciate the Dorset countryside and fresh air!"

Katie’s journey after graduation saw her first move to London to work at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for work experience, later working as a nurse in a private and international unit before applying to work as a Senior Staff Nurse on the Butterfly Ward, specialising in haematology, oncology and bone marrow transplantation.

“Whilst in all of these roles I supported the students and became a student mentor very quickly after registration, before the days of having to wait a year to be a mentor. I was the ‘Student Link’ nurse in these roles – responsible for allocating mentors to students, doing rosters and seeking spoke placement learning opportunities for student nurses.”

Katie continued to strive to perfect her professional skill, next working as a Student Practice Facilitator: “I was working across the Trust supporting and developing pre-registration student nurses. I taught clinical skills either at the child or young person’s bedside or in a classroom style setting. With this post starting I enrolled to do my PGCE, continued on this pathway and completed a MA in Practice Education part-time.”

Katie’s work took her across the globe to Kuwait’s NBK Hospital, as part of the GOSH international education programme, where she taught care and management of children with cancer and haematological disorders. She also found herself guest lecturing at London South Bank University, before returning to BU to share her story.

“I attended graduate open days at Bournemouth University to share my experiences and give a presentation on preceptorship and the support out there for newly registered nurses.  I also held a recruitment stand for Great Ormond Street at the Bournemouth University jobs fair, which has continued ever since.”

After a stint working as a Ward Manager and Clinical Educator in a specialist gastroenterology ward, Katie found herself coming full-circle, returning to BU: “I landed back at Bournemouth University in 2016. I like the ethos of student experience being a priority and truly hope we can improve the facilities with the new build for our nursing students.

“I’m proud to be a BU graduate myself, due to limited programme places and being given one of those golden opportunities to study in a seaside location. I’m proud to have gone on to study further and be prepared by BU to do this.”

Now hoping to pursue a PhD, Katie's advice to future BU nursing students is to “remain passionate, show empathy, nurse with compassion and finally, be motivated.”

Find out more about studying BSc (Hons) Children and Young People's Nursing at BU