John Holsworth shares his experience as a graduate John Holsworth shares his experience as a graduate

John Holsworth in gown and mortar board holing up his UEA certificate.John Holsworth

Graduated: Mental Health Nursing
Employer: Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation NHS Trust
Occupation: Staff Nurse – Dementia Care

Since graduating in 2012 as a Mental Health Nurse, John Holsworth has been able to directly transfer many of the skills he learnt whilst at UEA into his new NHS role.

Please explain how your new career has developed since graduating.
I am now two thirds through my preceptorship training and have been able to enhance my leadership skills, particularly when co-ordinating a shift. In addition, working within Dementia Care has allowed me to enhance my communication skills to provide appropriate person-centred care for people who live with dementia. My role as a Staff Nurse has helped me to gain in confidence particularly when working as part of the inter-professional team, which includes social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and consultants.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your new role?
My training has provided me with the confidence to engage with inter-professional teams within the clinical area, whilst liaising with service users and their relatives allowed me to enhance my knowledge base.

What steps did you take in finding your recent employment?
During my last year of training I regularly visited the NHS Jobs website looking for a suitable role for a Band 5 Nurse. I contacted numerous potential employment areas within the Trust to ascertain whether they would be prepared to accept a newly qualified nurse, and in most cases they were happy to consider this if I met the criteria.

What key skills did you learn at UEA?
I was able to enhance my communication skills, which are essential in nursing and with everyday life. I was also able to appreciate that academic writing is a skill, which can be enhanced and nurtured while formulating a summative assignment. Within the training I was able to participate within enquiry-based learning, which involved relaying research topics related to nursing to my fellow peers.

How have they made a difference in your career development?
They have enabled me to develop my professional approach to nursing and fit into the team within the clinical area. This has enabled them to trust my judgment, which in turn has provided me with self belief.

Do you have any tips for new students?
One of the aspects of a summative assignment is to meet with your academic adviser to discuss an essay plan and to gather research materials. I found that commencing essays at the earliest opportunity allowed me to take advantage of the full time allocated.
I also experienced that good timekeeping and being punctual on placements allowed me to forge good professional relationships with my mentors.

What did you think about your lecturers, teaching and facilities in the School?
My experience of studying at UEA was positive. The Edith Cavell Building had ideal facilities, including the computer room which supported my learning no end. I found the lecturers very approachable and had excellent knowledge of mental health nursing.

Why did you decide to study at UEA rather than another institution?
I was aware of UEA's reputation for this course so was eager to gain a place.

What is your most memorable moment at UEA?
Successfully completing the course was the most memorable moment.