Graduate praises learning experience

Annemarie talks about her student experience.
Annemarie talks about her student experience.

One compassionate University of Stirling graduate is already caring for people and putting her adult nursing degree into practice.

Annemarie MacNeil, who hails from Barra, now works at the Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban. She first considered nursing in her sixth-year of high school when she learned about the University of Stirling’s pre-nursing scholarship programme.

Looking for a career where she could care for people, be sociable and work in a team, Annemarie jumped at the chance.

The 21-year-old said: “The pre-nursing scholarship was a fantastic way to get an insight into working in a fast-paced hospital environment. I did a one-week residential placement in my local hospital and knew this was where I wanted to be.

“I also received an Intermediate 2 qualification in ‘Working in the health sector’ and before I knew it, I was enrolled in Stirling’s Western Isles campus in Stornoway.”

Annemarie was one of the first students to participate in the scheme to encourage school leavers from remote areas to consider a career in nursing. She’s now keeping nursing in the family, having watched her mum work in various nursing roles over the years.

“I always remember watching my mum help elderly relatives change dressings and check tablets. When I spoke to my family about what I wanted to do, it became clear that it was a perfect choice for me.

“I did a lot of growing up at University and quickly realised how much patients respect you and look to you for support at times of worry. At 18-years-old it was clear how serious a job I was going to have – being part of people’s sickness and recovery – and it was a different, but fantastic, student experience.”

The Barra-born student completed placements in the Western Isles Hospital,Stornoway, St Brendans Hospital, Barra, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness and the A & E department at Belford Hospital in Fort William during her studies.

“The Western Isles campus was a fantastic place to learn. I had access to one-on-one teaching and brilliant support from lecturers to help me support patients when they need you during their highs and lows.”

Annemarie was awarded the R G Bomont Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice and will travel to the Western Isles Campus with her family to collect the accolade and celebrate this achievement next month. She was one of 18 student nurses studying at the Western Isles campus.