Name: Gemma Murphy
Degree and university: BSc (First Class Honours) in Children’s Nursing at London South Bank University (LSBU).
Title: Band 5 Staff Nurse at University College London Hospital (UCLH).
Were you always interested in nursing?
I was not. I had always wanted to be a vetenary nurse, but an unexpected trip to hospital with a friend made me change direction.
What factors made you decide on your particular university/degree?
The affiliation of LSBU and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) was the deciding factor, as I had decided on training to become a Paediatric Nurse.
Can you describe exactly what you do?
I am currently part of an 18 month rotation programme at UCLH, which incorporates 3 placements of 6 months each covering all paediatric age groups. I am at present working on an acute paediatric ward. I chose this path as I believe that as a newly qualified nurse I will receive the best grounding in general paediatrics and I plan to specialise later on in my career.
Would you undertake further study to help your career progression?
In the future I plan to do a Master’s course.
What do you most like about what you do and are there any downsides?
I love working with children and young people as they have such a fun and optimistic outlook on life, despite sometimes being very unwell. I enjoy and endeavour always to make the child’s experience in hospital as good as possible. Also, the shift work suits me well, as I like the varied days on and off.
It is extremely hard work and can be stressful at times. A lot of responsibility comes with looking after sick children too. But, for me, the good points absolutely outweigh the downsides, and I love what I do.
What do you believe you gain personally from your career?
I have gained friendships with the people whom I work with and it is very rewarding seeing the majority of the children get better. Nursing is a profession which is constantly progressing, which ensures it is never boring and always academically challenging.
What qualities do you need to succeed at what you do?
You need to be very good at communicating, have an interest in people and in continuously learning. You also need patience, the willingness to work hard and the ability to remain calm under pressure.
What would be your best piece of advice for people wanting to enter this sector?
Nursing is not for everyone, so you need to research the job properly and talk to people about their experiences. It is a profession which you need to give 100% to and it can be quite demanding, but if it is for you, then you will get a lot out of it! Also, although it has improved over recent year, do not do it for the money.