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Dr Naomi Farrington PGDip Adult Nursing , 2012

Chemotherapy Staff Nurse & HEE/NIHR Clinical Lecturer

Dr Naomi Farrington's Photo

I had already achieved a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, an MA in Religious Conflict from the University of Nottingham, and a PhD in Archaeology, also from Cambridge, so I came to Southampton looking for something completely different!

What was great about the programme was that I was able to exercise both the practical and the academic sides of my brain. I could use skills sessions and placements to get to grips with the day-to-day practice of nursing, while taking advantage of lectures and seminars to explore more theoretical aspects.


The University of Southampton was my first choice for nursing as I had heard good things about Health Sciences from the students studying there and, as I already had qualifications, I was looking for a nursing course that would allow me to qualify in two years. Southampton was one of the places offering a postgraduate diploma in adult nursing.

I felt appreciated here as a mature student, and my previous academic and practical experience was valued.

Aside from academic aspects, I loved having the Jubilee Sports Centre nearby. It was great to be able to go for a swim to de-stress after lectures.

The excellent relationship between the University and University Hospital Southampton meant that my placements were particularly beneficial and helped to prepare me for becoming a newly-qualified nurse. I felt confident in my status as a student nurse, knowing I had the support of the Faculty behind me.

My tutor was Dr Mary Gobbi, and she was incredibly inspiring. An extremely knowledgeable, experienced nurse, and a skilled educator, she encouraged us to think of novel ways to solve problems we encountered, while always being compassionate and sympathetic.

I also really appreciated having Action Learning Groups, where a small group of us came together every couple of weeks to discuss and help each other with any practice issues, course content, or assignment difficulties.

I learnt the importance of having researchers embedded in practice – this allows the questions asked in research to be relevant to what goes on in the real world of nursing with real patients, and also allows research findings to be integrated into practice more readily so that patient experience can be improved.

My studies at Southampton have enabled me to pursue my current career. I am lucky enough to hold a post as a Clinical Academic Fellow, meaning that half of my time is spent working as a staff nurse in a chemotherapy day unit, and the other half is spent at the University as a researcher.

I recently secured an NIHR Clinical Lectureship which allows me to continue as a Clinical Academic for the next few years. I will conduct research into how to best support older people who are undergoing treatment for advanced cancer. I would not have been able to secure this without the support of people in the Faculty of Health Sciences from when I first arrived at the University in 2010 to today.

My aim is to continue my work as a Clinical Academic Nurse, supporting patients who are undergoing chemotherapy in my role as a staff nurse, and continuing to research ways in which to improve the patient experience.


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