Graduated with an online Nursing Studies BSc (Hons)

Image: online nursing studies bsc topup georgios kalaitzantonakisWhy did you choose this course?

The main reason I chose this course was my interest to study two modules, the Mentoring in Practice and the Theory and Reflection to Support Practitioners Undergoing Preceptorship. I was very interested in studying modules related to teaching. I have a long clinical experience as an Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurse and I wanted to undertake particular training and be considered as a qualified and up to date tutor for student nurses/ODPs and newly qualified staff members. Therefore, these modules were the most appropriate modules in order to gain particular knowledge.

What attracted you to online learning?

What attracted me to online learning was the flexibility. I am working in a very demanding setting of the NHS during the week and some weekends. Therefore, my only choice was an online course where I could manage my time in attending the lectures, doing my personal study and my work assignments.

Why did you choose the University of Derby Online Learning?

I chose the University of Derby because I found through my research that it rated well in various rankings tables. In addition, I found the whole course and the modules very interesting. Taking into account that my initial nursing studies alongside with 10 years of working experience before my NMC registration took place outside of the United Kingdom, I made the decision that this particular course would be the best induction for me in evidence-based knowledge on the NMC code of practice.

I chose the University of Derby because I was able to choose specific modules that interested me, unlike other universities where this is not available and you need to undertake specific modules in order to complete a similar course. Moreover, the flexible payment plan was an important aspect taking into account that I completed the whole course self-funding. Therefore, I had to pay my fees from my income. Through the flexible payment plan I was able to split the modules' fees in 4-5 instalments.

What were your goals and aspirations when starting your course? Have they changed during study?

My goal and my aspiration was to be able to finish my course as well as being able to manage it without physical attendance at the university or the help of my supervisors. During the course, I just focused on learning as much as I could and writing my assignments well. My anxiety about how to manage it disappeared because the academic supervisors' help was huge through emails and online lectures too.

How did you balance your study around professional/personal commitments?

When you want to do something, you can always find a balance between professional and personal commitments. I have a lot of interests and hobbies, I act in the theatre, sing, I have a relationship in which I wanted to commit time to regardless of the fact that I had to dedicate a portion of my spare time to my course.

In my free time, I devoted half to my study and I was very delighted because I had a goal and wanted to reach it.

How would you describe your online learning experience at Derby? What did you find particularly beneficial?

My whole experience could be described as a challenging trip. This trip was not easy, but it was worth it. I did not have my superiors support as I expected. What I heard from one of my managers was that they needed staff with skills rather than academic knowledge. I completely ignored this opinion since I was responsible for my professional development more than anyone else. The only thing I requested from my superiors during my studies was a student nurse for my Mentoring in Practice module. I had support from my colleagues, my previous manager and I am very grateful for them. I faced difficulties and obstacles during my studies but I did not give up because I focused on my goal, ignoring circumstances and people who did not offer me their support.

The communication with the academic supervisors' was most beneficial because with their support I completed the course and I gained new knowledge which I will apply in practice.

What was your most memorable moment during your time at Derby?

The last minutes stress before the assignments submission.

How has your qualification helped your career? Has the knowledge you have acquired, complimented previous work experience in any way?

I have different responsibilities now I have completed my course. In addition to my clinical responsibilities, I teach student nurses and newly qualified staff members during the audit days. I really enjoy it and it makes me feel more integrated in my role. I gained significant professional development and I am working harder but I really enjoy it.

Are you looking to gain more professional development/ will you be seeking career development?

I expect to have more professional development because I strongly believe that I can offer Nursing Science from all perspectives. I am thinking about undertaking postgraduate study in order to expand my knowledge and be able to work autonomously as a nurse in a multidisciplinary team.

Can you describe your experience with just one word?