Karen Burgoyne, a mature student from Ayr, achieved a First-Class Honours degree in Nursing during the pandemic. Karen has now secured a role as a Band 5 staff nurse in the Accident and Emergency department at Ayr Hospital.
“I feel absolutely delighted, honoured and proud of my efforts in passing the course and achieving my dream job as a nurse, let alone achieving a First-Class Honours degree,” said Karen.
“When I started at Worcester, I was extremely anxious at my ability to cope with the level of work required of me and my confidence was very low,” she said. “I had suffered with post-natal depression with my second daughter and lived at the other side of the UK away from family and friends, along with my husband’s job meaning he was away a lot, often meaning I was a single parent and it had knocked my confidence greatly. I failed two assignments in my first year at Worcester which had a massive effect on my confidence and I very nearly quit. But I stuck with it, worked extremely hard, sometimes having to put university first in front of others, and worked hard on myself as well and slowly I started to believe in myself again and my confidence began to increase.”
Karen was diagnosed with dyslexia during her studies and was able to access additional support. “I started to retain information better, my academic writing improved and with the drive and determination this gave me, I started to get better grades,” she said. “I feel so proud that I did it. I finally achieved my dream job as a nurse and look forward to a future in nursing and the experiences and possibilities that will arise from this amazing role.”
“Studying during the Covid-19 pandemic was by no means easy and has been a real eye opener of an experience but also an empowering one,” she said. “I also took on the role of teacher at home to my two young children, whilst writing my Independent Study and completing my final placement” (a Band 4 Aspirant Nurse to help support the NHS during the pandemic).
“At times it did seem unachievable and there were a few tears, however the support I received from my family, in particular my husband Steve, was amazing. He took on the role of both mummy and daddy during this time and allowed me the time and space to complete my assignments.”
“Having all our tutorials and lectures online was a new thing to both students and the University, and one I think was effective and an excellent resource for us students. It meant we could revisit the recordings is clarification was needed and gave the students the confidence to ask those questions they may feel scared or embarrassed to ask in a lecture hall full of 200+ students."
“Overall, studying during the pandemic I feel has helped to better prepare me for my new role as staff nurse within A and E, equipping me with the resilience and confidence in my abilities to adapt and work under challenging circumstances, and highlighted to me the vitality of the effects of excellent teamwork and the possibilities that can arise from it,” she said.
Karen has now secured a role as a Band 5 staff nurse in the Accident and Emergency department at Ayr Hospital.