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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Jessica Sainsbury BN Adult & Mental Health Nursing 2018

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Hi, I am Jessica Sainsbury and I am studying BN Adult & Mental Health Nursing.

Southampton being a Russell Group University was certainly something that I paid attention to, but it was the welcome from staff and students and ‘feeling’ I got when I attended the Open Days that sold it to me

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

I’m a mature student with a young family, so my options were limited to my local universities. However I have four fantastic Universities within commutable distance from my home, so I still had a decision to make! Southampton being a Russell Group University was certainly something that I paid attention to, but it was the welcome from staff and students and ‘feeling’ I got when I attended the Open Days that sold it to me. Because of this, I try to help out at as many of the Open Days promoting Nursing at Southampton as I can, because I want to inspire and encourage the next generation of #WeUoSNurses

What were you anxious about before coming to Southampton?

I seem to always have this underlying worry that I’m not doing well enough, yet I’m proved wrong time and time again. The support from the staff, both academic and ‘back-office’, is fantastic. I’ve built up relationships that I hope to take with me into my career. But I think my main worry prior to commencing the course was that I’d struggle out on placement as I had never worked In a healthcare setting before, I’d always worked in an office.

Once at Southampton, how were your fears overcome?

There was plenty of preparation before commencing P1in the form of academic work, drop in sessions, speaking to staff and students which all really helped. I’m pleased to report that all four placements I have completed to date have been utterly wonderful, each completely different to the previous, and each fantastic learning experiences that will shape my future practice.

What is it like studying here?

I love going onto Highfield campus, it makes you feel like you belong there. From our hub in Nightingale Building, to Hartley Library, to the Students Union. Nursing at Southampton is truly special, we have direct access to the people who undertake the research that informs and guides our practice, to the people who write the textbooks! In addition to this, the delivery of teaching is varied and keeps you engaged: from lectures delivered by specialists in practice, to interactive theatre allowing us to challenge ourselves in a safe environment.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ so far?

Celebrating success is really important to me, not just my own but that of my peers and academics. I've been fortunate enough to be nominated two years running in SUSU's Academic Awards, and this year attended the Student Nursing Times Awards to support my peer, Rebecca, who I had nominated for 'Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs'. I believe that we should always recognise and shout about others successes, as it's always easy to concentrate on what's going wrong- let's take the time to look at what's going right for once!

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

During my time at Southampton so far, my Leadership skills have come on leaps and bounds. I've previously line-managed people in my past career as a HR professional, but I've learnt during my time here how to lead people positively rather than instruct people. I've also had plenty of opportunities to gain confidence with public speaking at various events including Open Days, Welcome to Nursing Days, and in front of our current students.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

I'm enjoying being part of an international community of Nurses. Nursing opens up so many doors, even when you're a student, it's amazing! I've been to conferences, visited the Royal College of Nursing's HQ, I'm due to be a voting member at RCN's annual Congress in Belfast, and I'm part of an online student support network/ community. The Student Nurse Project on Twitter @StNurseProject.  Most importantly, I know I'm already making a positive impact on patients by providing the best care I possibly can.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?

We have the opportunity to undertake a Professional Development Experience – I will be participating in the NHS Leadership Academy's 'Edward Jenner Programme' which is aimed at healthcare professionals in work wishing to take the lead. In addition to this, I will be sending some time at RCN HQ with the Regional Director for the South East.

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

I've lived in Southampton all my life, so if anyone needs a tour guide, let me know!

What one word sums up how you feel about your experiences so far at Southampton?






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