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During the second year of her Children’s Nursing studies at the University of Chester, Stacey’s brother was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Juggling the demands of her studies and practice placements, while supporting her brother and family at such a difficult time, could have easily seen the 27-year-old take time out from her degree.

But Stacey rose to challenge to become an outstanding student, described as ‘inspirational’ by her lecturers, and says the support she received from the University helped her through. 

Stacey, from Gobowen in Shropshire, said: “The Children’s Nursing team could not have been more supportive with this, providing me with emotional and practical support, giving me options with deadlines and what to do if I was struggling to meet these.

“They also supported me with organising practice around my brother’s radiotherapy appointments. As I was taking my brother three times a week to support him and my family, this had the potential to impact upon shifts. My personal tutor was amazing in helping me plan my shifts and ensuring I was okay in such an emotional time.

“Thankfully, my brother is now doing well, and I managed to successfully complete my second year and all work expected of me on time. It was a really tough time but made me feel so proud of myself for being able to achieve all of this.”

Stacey, who hopes to one day work in paediatric oncology, says she knew Chester was the right choice for her from the moment she met the Children’s Nursing team.

She said: “I felt welcomed and knew straight away the team had the passion and knowledge to support me through my three years of training. The placement areas provided were also such a good mix of experiences, all within a commuting distance – I just knew Chester was the right choice. 

“Nursing is a demanding course, so time management was a constant challenge, but I utilised time management skills and advice given by the team and was able to meet all demands and deadlines needed on the course. 

“Confidence while out on placement was also a challenge, but the skills lab sessions and feedback from my lecturers boosted my confidence massively, as did receiving support and encouragement from mentors out in practice. They helped me to realise my potential and ability even more.”

Stacey added: “The Children’s Nursing team at Chester has been fantastic at not only supporting me throughout my degree, but also pushing me to be the best I can. 

“As a mature student it can be difficult to get back into academic work, but there were so many avenues to access support and feedback with this and emphasis has always been on the team wanting us to achieve our best. 

“I have always felt proud to put on my student nurse uniform and even more so to have my University of Chester badge in pride of place.”

Lucy Wallace, Programme Leader in the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care, said“Stacey was an outstanding student through the three years; focussed and committed to achieving her best on the course both during theory and practice placements. 

“She was obviously very upset following her brother’s diagnosis and this was a challenging time for her and her family, but she managed to achieve everything required of her from the programme and I know will have equally provided the support for all her family. 

“Stacey has been an absolute pleasure throughout the three years of the course and is an inspirational young lady. She will make an outstanding children’s nurse.” 

 

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