Caitlin Swan graduated with a first-class honours degree in Adult Nursing from RGU on Friday 7 August in front of a virtual audience of friends, family and peers.
As a dedicated people person, Caitlin found her calling while attending North East Scotland College and was inspired by her lecturers to take her education higher and on to great academic success.
Caitlin said: “I had originally planned to just complete the third year of my nursing course, but I transferred to the honours degree after being one grade shy of straight A’s.
“University was tough, and placements were tiring but you need them to learn the job. I gained a lot from one-to-one time with my dissertation supervisor. He was intelligent and motivational. I gained in-depth knowledge into tracheostomy patients and was pushed to produce my best work.”
Following her run of academic excellence in her third year, Caitlin also excelled in her fourth by achieving straight A’s throughout to gain the highest honours degree possible.
“It makes me proud every day, as I know I’ve done the most I can do for my training and for my patients,” said Caitlin. “I feel I’ve always been a caring person. I have five siblings, so I've definitely always been a people person, but I didn’t enjoy school and felt that the potential in me wasn’t recognised. I left school for college and the staff were amazing.”
Caitlin came to RGU through the Degree Link programme, where the university works in partnership with affiliate colleges to provide a range of guaranteed progression pathways for students in Scotland. Each year, more than 400 students follow this path, gaining advanced entry into the third year after completing an HNC or HND at college.
“The staff at NESCol completely inspired me,” said Caitlin. “It was a mature setting. I met amazing friends and experienced a placement position in a care home. I would recommend college for pre-nursing studies to everyone interested in taking that same path to university.
"I felt really prepared after my fourth year of Degree Link at RGU. I work in Ward 208: the General Surgical Receiving unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. It’s fast-paced with a great team. I’m confident, dedicated and fully aware of my options for training in future so that I can continue to provide the best possible care for patients.”
After a year of further training and experience, Caitlin plans to continue her academic excellence by working towards a master’s degree.