We have several newly qualified nurses in our team of STaR consultants. Our STaR Ambassadors are working with the research team and wider advisory group, they joined us as student nurses in their final year and they include:
Hi, I’m Gemma a 33-year-old Learning Disabilities student nurse. I chose this field of nursing due my caring for my brother who has learning disabilities, and I strive to ensure that people receive the best possible care and have the same rights and choices as the rest of the population.
I also aim to prevent the stigma attached to learning disabilities and I have first-hand experience of the challenges faced by individuals. Prior to starting my nursing I worked within a school and I supported individuals with learning disabilities by ensuring that I adapted educational resources, so they could achieve their full potential.
The STaR project is important to me as retaining nurses within learning disabilities services is of the utmost importance as service users require continuity of care to achieve their full potential and build trusting therapeutic relationships. Through being part of this project I hope to raise awareness of what learning disability nurses. In relation to transition from student nurse to becoming a registered nurse, I hope I can share my experiences and thoughts which will be of value to the project.
Hi I’m Kat, I am a 46 year old Mum of two children and three step children. I am a third year mental health nurse and can’t wait to start practising. I am committed to becoming a mental health nurse because I feel passionately about making a difference to the lives of people with mental health issues.
My interest in mental health began several years ago as I have family members and close friends who have suffered. I have always felt a real empathy toward them: because of this they have always come to me for support and constantly told me I was in the wrong profession. I had a career in sales and marketing for twenty years eventually becoming a sales manager. Although I enjoyed sales and it was a great career I felt my passion and motivation lie elsewhere.
I feel the STaR project is important as nurse’s work extremely hard to qualify, retaining nurses and making sure they have a smooth and happy transition is essential for nursing and patient care.
Kayleigh was one of our STaR ambassadors until September 2019. She joined us as a student nurse in the final year of her nursing programme and provided support, advice and direction to the project research team. She specifically supported us in the development of our qualitative work (interview topic guide) and the recruitment of students and NQNs for interviews. Kayleigh was also a member of our Advisory Group – a multi-disciplinary group of student nurses, NQNs, service users, employers and academics. Kayleigh has been an enthusiastic member of our group – she is passionate about nursing practice and the nursing profession and is an excellent advocate for her peers.
I’m Sharon, a soon to be 47 year old newly qualified nurse. I have a job lined up in the community and I am both terrified and excited in equal measure. I retrained as a nurse as the consequence of a mid life career crisis. My old job in finance was stable but offered little by way of fulfillment. I was drawn to nursing as I knew that it was a chance to make a difference and give me the fulfillment I crave. I wasn’t entirely sure that i’d be able to do nursing and someday’s I have a ‘wobble’ but overall I think I’ll be okay. I still have bouts of imposter syndrome but usually manage to offset it with effort, enthusiasm and a peppering of self belief. University has been fab. I still feel like i’m winging it but have developed a passion for learning. Academia doesn’t come easy to me, however i am ridiculously well organised and really hard working so have managed to scrape through. My favourite things are fixing people and making folk smile. I’m mum to a 15 year old which is occasionally challenging and I have been known to be a tad shoutie, however i’m confident anyone with a teen will understand why i shout so much.
My name is Roseanna and I am a final year student mental health nurse. I chose to become a nurse as I have always thought it is a rewarding career and I enjoy spending time with people and getting to know them. I chose mental health nursing as it is always something that has interested me from a young age as most of my family are mental health nurses. I have grown up listening to stories about what it is like to be a mental health nurse. I wanted to be involved in the STaR Project because a large number of newly qualified nurses leave the profession within the first year and if this can be minimised it would have positive effects on care within the NHS. I am also interested in research, as I worked in this area prior to commencing my nursing course.
Hi, I’m Kathryn a third year student nurse in the adult field, currently writing my dissertation and feeling as though the end is in sight! I chose to study nursing as I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting and makes a difference in people’s lives. I have always had a desire to care for acute and critically ill patients, therefore I am starting my nursing career within critical care and I am looking forward to joining the Intensive Care team in September. I have a particular interest in trauma management and plan to specialise within this field at a later date. I wanted to join the STaR research project team as I find the topic very interesting, possibly because I will soon be faced with being a newly qualified nurse and this prospect is very daunting. I am interested in sharing my thoughts and feelings about this process and hopefully my experience and views will be of value to the project.