A mother-of-one who spent more than 20 years working in healthcare, graduates today as a fully qualified nurse.
Tina Blanchard, who spent 10 years as a dental nurse, 11 years as an ophthalmic and clinical dispensing assistant and more recently worked as a domiciliary healthcare assistant, said she was inspired to become a nurse after receiving “excellent” care herself.
“I have been in healthcare for over 20 years and have always enjoyed looking after people,” said the 51-year-old, from Hereford. “I experienced excellent nursing care when in hospital once, and thought how wonderful it would be to become a nurse. The adventure then began. I call it an adventure because of all the exciting experiences and new learning this degree has given me.”
She continued: “The degree has opened so many doors for me, both academically and through employment. The last three years have been the most fantastic experience and I have enjoyed every minute of every challenge given to me. The support from the University will be evident when I complete my graduation ceremony; when I am sure I will feel an immense sense of emotion and pride, not only for myself, but for all my friends and colleagues graduating.”
During her three years at Worcester, Tina had the opportunity to undertake an elective placement in Tanzania. “That confirmed my decision to work within district nursing,” she said.
Tina has secured a post as a Community Staff Nurse within the district nursing team at Wye Valley NHS Trust. “Being allowed to look after people in their own homes is a privilege,” she said. “I hope to continue this and may look to become a practice nurse in the future.”
Tina, who was the recipient of this year’s Winnie Matchett Prize for achieving the highest grades on the Adult Nursing programme, said she hoped that her journey had inspired her eight-year-old son, Harrison, who has special needs.
“I hope he sees me as an inspiration as he goes through school,” she said. “Harrison, and my husband, Andrew, will be present at my graduation and I can’t wait.”