Louise Young - MSc Advancing Practice

Louise Young
An Aberdeenshire nurse with twenty years’ experience working for NHS Grampian who decided to return to university to upskill as a Health Visitor.

Pitmedden based mother of two, Louise is returning to Aberdeen’s Music Hall, some twenty years after graduating from RGU first time round with an undergraduate Diploma in Nursing.

She’s now graduating with a MSc Advancing Practice in Health Visiting from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice at RGU.

Nursing had been in the family, with her mum graduating from RGU with a Diploma in Nursing two years before Louise graduated.  

As a school leaver from Inverurie Academy, Louise knew she wanted to care for others and headed to RGU to study Adult Nursing. She’s since built up a successful career as an adult nurse with NHS Grampian working within orthopaedics for most of her career, finding fulfilment in the dynamic rhythm of the ward and contributing to a patient’s recovery journey.

Louise developed a keen interest in health visiting after becoming a mother herself so when the opportunity came along to work as an Immunisation Nurse as part of the Buchan Health Visiting team in Peterhead, Louise realised it was time for a new challenge in her nursing career.

“I returned to RGU because they offered a course that was close to home and allowed me to balance my family commitments, despite the challenges we faced, we managed to find a solution. 

“I had worked as a nurse for many years before coming back to RGU.  I was drawn to MSC in Advancing Practice because as my kids would say, I was finally pursing my lifelong dream. I had gained an insight into Health Visiting whilst working as part of the Buchan Health Visiting team, and whilst the decision to return to university after so long did seem a little daunting, I knew it was what I wanted to do.  It also demonstrated to my children that age is not a barrier; you can pursue and achieve your goals regardless of your age something I learned from my mum when she returned to studying later in life.”

It's a decision that Louise has not regretted, and she says the hands on learning she’s gained whilst studying has been invaluable

“One of my most significant highlights has been the placement experience.  I spent 10 weeks in both year one and two with the Formartine team at Oldmeldrum.  They seamlessly integrated me into the team, making me feel at ease from the beginning.  Their extensive knowledge and experience have greatly benefited me, for which I am forever grateful and can now apply this in my own practice.  My Practice Supervisor and I both graduated 20 years ago in the music hall, with her graduating as a Health Visitor on the same day I graduated as an Adult Nurse!”

Throughout her studies, Louise worked part time as a Trainee Health Visitor within the Buchan health visiting team, acquiring a wealth of knowledge and valuable insights from her peers, which strengthened her confidence in approaching her own practice. During her placement, Louise increased her hours to full time and despite the occasional challenge, found the flexibility of the course immensely beneficial, coupled with the invaluable support from her family.

“While the first year was conducted online, the second year allowed for some in-person classes, proving highly advantages for both learning and networking.  I really liked the mix of learning, and the flexibility of the online modules, meant I could continue working whilst also managing a busy family life.

“I also really benefitted from RGU’s Study Support Service who gave me advice and tips on essay writing, which was extremely helpful, particularly as I hadn’t studied for some time.”

Looking back on her time at RGU, Louise is hugely positive in all that she’s achieved.

“The course has enabled me to change my career path and take a different route within nursing. That’s one of the main attractions about nursing, your career can go in so many directions and there are always new opportunities to learn.

“Since finishing the course, I’ve already gained a full time job within the Buchan Health Visiting team, and now work with a great team, who have been hugely supportive during my training. I am extremely proud of achieving my post graduate Diploma in Advancing Practice in Health Practice and for taking the plunge to go back to University. For anyone else considering, I say to just go for it. It’s a decision you won’t regret and I know it will help me as I continue to help patients in the community.”

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