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Honours success for Sunderland nurse

Posted: 24/04/19

A North East NHS worker is celebrating gaining her new honours degree in Nursing Professional Development over thirteen years after she originally qualified as a nurse.

Mandy from Washington first became a registered nurse in 2006 and currently works in Sunderland as a staff nurse for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) which provides mental health and disability services.

I’d encourage any nurses at NTW who don’t have a degree already to think about studying for one. I’ve learnt and developed new skills on the course – it makes you think ‘outside the box’.

I had to juggle my studying with my work on the ward including night shifts, and all my personal commitments including helping my daughter care for four children. It was really hard work – but I’d definitely do it again!

During my study days I spent many hours at Hopewood Park Library. I would not have been able to get through the course without the support of the library staff and especially Marion Bilton. Marion was very supportive, gave me hope and the strength to go on when I was experiencing an unproductive study day.

I would also like to thank Gillian the domestic who always kept the library work areas clean and immaculate, as well as all Cleadon staff, my ward manager at the time Antony Buckley and clinical leads Sam Cook and Vicki Welsh.

Last but not least I’d like to thank Northumbria University staff for supporting me through my studying journey. Let me tell you they certainly did the journey with me.

MandyNTW staff nurse

All of NTW’s newly-qualified nurses are required to have a university degree, but existing staff are exempt from this due to their professional experience.

But Mandy has always worked hard to keep her skills and knowledge up to date, and in 2015 she decided to start working on a nursing degree of her own.

After three and half dedicated years of study Mandy completed the BSC honours degree in Nursing Professional Development at Northumbria University earlier this year.

Antony Buckley was Mandy’s ward manager when she started her studies.

We worked with Mandy throughout her degree and negotiated study time alongside her shifts. Mandy also devoted lots of her own weekends and holidays to her degree course too.

I’d like to congratulate Mandy for all her hard work and her get up and go attitude – it’s brilliant to see staff nurses who want to develop their skills like this.

Antony BuckleyNTW ward manager

Our library services are open to all NTW staff who are welcome to use any of our facilities across the Trust. We are always happy to support any staff who are studying as part of their work with NTW, and we’d like to congratulate Mandy for all her hard work – her success in passing her degree is richly deserved.

SusanNTW Senior Library Assistant