Nursing can be a challenging yet rewarding career, however, for former BN (Hons) Mental Health Nursing and Health & Social Care (Level 3) student at University College Isle of man (UCM), Laura Matthews, it was the perfect pathway, and even led her to write a novel to support children who are struggling with anxiety induced by lockdown.
A passion for helping people
Despite initially being uncertain of what she wanted to do in the future, Laura knew that a career helping others, was where her passion lay.
“I knew I wanted to work with people, and the Health & Social Care Diploma (Level 3) had such a broad variety of different subject areas you can explore. I was able to work with children, older people, mental health, and that’s how I discovered what I really wanted to do.”
After completing the Health & Social Care Diploma, Laura decided to pursue higher education and study BN (Hons) Mental Health Nursing at Keyll Daree, a UCM campus that specialises in providing education and resources for health and social care staff on island.
Laura added, “The diploma provided me with the essential skills, knowledge and confidence which allowed me to progress to mental health nursing.”
Exciting placement opportunities
UCM provided Laura with an opportunity to explore her interests in a mature environment, a factor which was incredibly important for her after finishing school, “Studying at UCM allowed me to focus specifically on health and nursing, whereas if I had continued to study A Levels, I would have had to split my time studying several other subjects which I was less interested in.”
“UCM also offered me exciting placement opportunities, where I was able to gain valuable hands-on experience, ask plenty of questions and really get a feel for the career path I was considering”.
Writing a book
Laura, who has been working as a nurse for three years now, decided to utilise her experience and interest in mental health, to create a novel to support children who have been struggling with lockdown; a project which she felt extremely passionate about.
“I have written and published a book called ‘Arlen the Anxious Alpaca’ which aims to discuss anxiety and teach management techniques in a clear and relatable way for children. £1 from every book sale goes to local Mental Health Charity, Isle Listen.”