Chloe Jackson - BSc Adult Nursing

Chloe Jackson
A newly qualified nurse at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, who is proud to be graduating in the Heart of Grampian tartan, designed by a patient where she trained.

Twenty eight year old Chloe from Aberdeen, had an unconventional route into nursing having previously studied a BA (Hons) Hospitality Management and a MSc in Digital Marketing at RGU.

Nursing had always been a vocation that Chloe had considered however as she had two inspirational parents who were nurses and her granny too. With more life experience, and a renewed sense of confidence, Chloe decided to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse and is graduating with a BSc in Adult Nursing from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice (SNMP).

Chloe started the Adult Nursing course during the pandemic which brought about its own set of challenges as highlighted by Chloe in the Nursing Times.

“On the positive side, the experience supported us as nurses to establish our autonomy, resilience and ability to adapt to anything and we have done amazingly considering the magnitude of the interruption the covid-19 pandemic had on student nurses.”

Chloe was impressed by the reputation of SNMP for producing skilled, compassionate and professional graduates, and also recognised that RGU is the main provider for Nursing in the North-East of Scotland. She also realised her early career choices would support a change in direction into nursing.

“From my previous experience, I had a lot of transferable skills to help me with my nursing career. Since starting my degree, I’ve used my digital skills to make a nursing podcast and created a blog about my nursing journey. I have interviewed various nursing leaders, including the Alex McMahon, the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland, Professor Caroline Hiscox, Chief Executive for NHS Grampian; Professor Susan Dawkes;  RGU’s very own Head of School as well as many of RGU’s nursing lectures and various specialist nurses around the UK.”

Chloe’s podcast and blog highlights the many different career options in nursing and provides placement advice to student nurses.

As a student, Chloe played a vital role in advocating for student nurses across Scotland and the rest of the UK as she was selected to be one of two representatives on the Royal College of Nursing Student Committee.

“One of my proudest student nurse highlights, was being chosen to represent the Scottish student nurse on the RCN student committee. This came with some incredible opportunities that will and have been beneficial to my nursing career.  I feel incredibly proud that I have been apart of shaping the future for student nurses and nursing education in Scotland, particularly throughout the pandemic. I am very thankful to the RCN for the experiences I had.”

“Whilst on placement, student nurses often found themselves thrown in at the deep end and covering rostering gaps which didn’t allow for quality learning time with practice assessors and supervisors. In some placements you could see our mentors wanted to teach us new skills, but they just didn’t always have the capacity to do so. There were several times as student nurses we sought to help take the strain off practice mentors, but it was sorely impossible because we had not learnt the skills needed to.”

As part of her role on the RCN Nursing Student Committee, Chloe and her colleague, Louise Hyett Collins, raised these concerns about student nurse rostering at the RCN’S largest annual congress event in Brighton this year.

Chloe is neurodivergent and says she has valued the university’s commitment to foster Equality and Diversity and the support she received from the RGU Inclusion Centre.

“Throughout all of my degrees at RGU I have always been grateful for the support from the University’s Inclusion Centre and study skills centre who were always on hand to offer advice and support.”

“Due to the societal stigma associated with neurodivergence I had the longing to advocate for other neurodivergent student nurses by raising awareness of neurodiversity within nursing. I did this through my role in the RCN student committee and by setting up SUNN Network, a group dedicated to supporting and understanding neurodivergent nurses like me and again, I found the digital skills I’d previously gained at RGU, really helpful when setting it up.”

Chloe has also recently set up a weekly neuro-inclusive community choir that is held at the university which is great fun and hugely rewarding and says everyone is welcome to join Umbrella A Cappella.

In her three years of being a student nurse, Chloe has achieved so much and is proud of the impact she has made to student nurses, SNMPP and the community. This includes organising a SNMP sponsored walk that raised funds for the British Heart Foundation and RGU’s Clinical Skills Centre.  All of these activities support the University’s RGU Plus programme to enhance the experience of students and their contribution to the world around them.

Now that Chloe is graduating, she has started a job as a newly qualified nurse in the main theatre suit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary which she loves. She is also doing further anaesthetic training, among other things, and is excited for what her career holds for her.

On the day of her graduation, Chloe will be wearing the Heart of Grampian Tartan, which was designed by a patient named Linda Gorn. Mrs Gorn suffered a heart attack and was cared for in the cardiac unit at ARI where she trained.

Chloe says: “I was very touched by Linda Gorn’s story when I saw it on the news. The tartan signifies her journey of her heart attack and the staff who helped her. The green represents the staff in theatres, the red is for the blood, the grey stands for fear and uncertainty, the 2 shades of blue represent the nurses and senior charge nurses who helped her and the white is for the tunnel of light she saw after suffering the heart attack.  I am very proud to wear a tartan that was designed by a patient from a hospital that I trained in for 3 years. It feels special to me and I’m looking forward to wearing it as a I embark on my career as a nurse.”

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