Meet the professionals: Community nursing and hospital nursing

Continuing our Meet the Professionals series, we recently caught up with two BNurs Adult Nursing alumni to see how they are getting on with their careers since graduating. Both alumni have taken varied routes since graduation, with Jenny working on and A and E unit in London and Hannah working as a District Community Nurse in Merseyside. Let’s see how they’re finding it… 

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Jenny Coles

Studying Nursing at Manchester was a really good experience; I had a bunch of great placements which provided me with some vital knowledge and skills heading into my first job. This course gears you up to make you employable; it makes you think about what you need to be when you qualify. It’s not just ‘you’ve done the course, here you go’ it’s like ‘okay you’ve done the course but now what are you going to do with that, where are you going to go and what kind of nurse are you going to be?’

When I qualified I started at Wythenshawe where I rotated between wards every six months and I did that for 18 months in cardiothoracics. Within that, I also did my mentorship. After that, I then spent a year on heart and lung transplant which was really good. At the time the department was quite short-staffed so I was fast-tracked into a senior role quite young which was a great experience.

From there, I then moved to London and I now work in A and E in a major trauma centre. It’s crazy! There are lots of targets we have to meet such as the four hour breach time which feels impossible and every day is totally unpredictable. You never know what’s coming through the door, you’ve got mental health patients, you’ve got elderly patients, young patients,  patients with both physical and social issues, it’s very very diverse. Although I did have a few A and E placements during my time at university, I don’t think anything can really prepare you for working in a London A and E unit!

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Looking to the future, I actually want to be a Lecturer! I want to do my masters and do part-time teaching and still work part-time in the NHS because I don’t want to lose that side of things. However, I don’t think I could stay in A and E for the rest of my life, to be honest. My advice to student nurses would be to believe in yourselves as you’ve made it this far, you’ve got the qualities to make it as a nurse so you just need to have confidence in yourself to go and do it.

Hannah Cooke

I loved studying Nursing at The University of Manchester. The course set me up well for a career in nursing and I made friendships and memories that I will look back on for the rest of my life.

After graduating I actually stayed in Manchester instead of going back home to Liverpool. I got a job at The Christie after doing a placement there during my degree. I worked there for a year and a half in acute oncology, where I looked after various patients who were on chemotherapy, had acute sepsis and also those patients who were on palliative care.

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I did a few different jobs after that, I worked in intensive care for a bit and then went on to work in a dementia care home. After that, I decided to become a Bank Nurse because I wanted to have more freedom. Currently, I’m a District Community Nurse, which I really enjoy. The job basically involves going to patients who are housebound to care for them at their home. This can vary from something as simple as giving them their medication to providing end of life care. It’s basically just about keeping people well at home, anticipating problems, and putting safeguarding measures in place.

The University equipped me with a lot of the skills that I’ve used in all of my job roles, however, I do think with nursing you always continue to learn and pick things up as you go. Looking ahead, I just want to continue in my current job as I do really enjoy it however I am also open to anything when that time comes for a new challenge!

My advice to current student nurses would be to enjoy it as it can be a really rewarding job. I think it’s important to spend time with your patients and have a laugh with them so I’d advise them to do that as much as possible too!


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