Eilidh Mouat - BSc Adult Nursing

Eilidh Mouat at Graduation 2024
A 21-year-old nursing graduate from Shetland who was awarded first class honours and RGU’s first ever dissertation prize for nursing, has started her first job in the Cardiology Ward at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

21-year-old Eilidh Mouat from Sandwick in Shetland, is graduating with a BSc in Adult Nursing with First Class Honours having applied through clearing as a school leaver from Anderson High School in Lerwick.

“I always knew I wanted to go to university, mainly to get off the island. I knew that I either wanted to do a science based subject or music, but at the end of the day I wanted a degree that would guarantee a job at the end.  My decision was also strengthened by the pandemic as I was keen to leave Shetland and to move onto the next steps of my life, as there are limited training opportunities in Shetland.

“I originally wanted to study veterinary medicine but missed my offer due to being unable to sit exams due to covid. I applied to study nursing at RGU through clearing, which was really straight forward, as the staff were incredibly supportive and guided me through the clearing process. Now that I've finished my nursing degree, I can’t imagine myself in any other career and feel privileged to be able to do what I do.

“I always knew I wanted to have a practical job, one which was fast paced and never dull, so nursing really appealed. I’ve always been interested in anything medical, and the thought of being able to carry out complex clinical procedures was exciting to me. I also liked the flexibility of a career in nursing, as if you don't like an area, you can just switch to another. There are so many areas to go into, such as education, research and advanced practice, as well as the opportunities to take your skills all over the world.”

There have been many highlights throughout Eilidh’s degree including winning RGUs first ever dissertation prize for Nursing, selected by a clinical panel of senior nurses from NHS Grampian.

“I am very proud as I feel like I put in a lot of hard work and to have won the first dissertation prize is such a huge privilege.  My project explored the healthcare experiences of gender diverse patients. Gender diverse was the chosen term to represent those who identify outside the male/female binary, or other than assigned at birth. This topic holds a place close to my heart due to family and friends, so to have it recognised by a panel of such important people within NHS Grampian, makes me feel as though I’ve finally been able to voice my concerns from the past four years.

“I am eager to write more on the topic and encourage further research from others, especially researchers who are gender diverse themselves. My research highly encouraged the inclusion of pronouns on medical admission documents and electronic notes, and formal education on caring for gender minorities. Having my research valued by the panel makes me hopeful for the future, that changes could be made in the future to make medical medical care and documentation more inclusive."

Other highlights from Eilidh’s degree include her placements which brought her back to her home in Shetland.

“The opportunity to go home for my nursing placement to the A & E in Shetland has definitely been one of my main highlights from my course in third year. I felt so supported and encouraged in my learning. It was during this time that I began to think critically as a nurse, and got involved with interesting cases, particularly in the cardiac cath labs and theatres at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. During these operations, I was able to scrub up and be directly involved in surgical procedures. This is an experience that still make me feel so proud and excited about the variety of opportunities nursing offers.”

Whilst at university, Eilidh says she really valued the sense of community at RGU, especially the range of clubs and societies on offer.

“During my time I was lucky enough to be part of the climbing committee, which I’m very grateful for. Through this I’ve met so many great people and made some fantastic memories, especially on trips throughout Scotland. Throughout other societies such as Medecins sans Frontieres, which was run by one of my classmates, I’ve been able to travel to London for conferences led by top health professionals which has been eye opening and really influenced my career choices.”

Now that Eilidh is graduating, she is looking forward to starting a job in nursing and credits much of her success to the career’s advice at RGU.

“When I was looking for a job, RGU offered fantastic careers advice and highlighted what to expect during the application process and how to make yourself stand out. They also organised a careers fair which was also very beneficial and allowed me and my peers to speak to other health boards, to gain an understanding of their expectations. I’ve always felt supported in RGU as you always know help is just an email away.”

“I have a job in the Cardiology Ward 109 at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary which I’m really excited about as I’ve always been interested in all things cardiac. My dissertation supervisors and I have also discussed working towards publishing a form of my dissertation in a scientific journal, which could hopefully spread my topic to a wider audience.  My overarching plan is to eventually transition into emergency nursing and gain a masters, and hopefully work in some different countries.”

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