A new job as a school nurse and a better work-life balance

Ryan Hare school nursing student

Ryan Hare, from Cardiff, is a Specialist Community Public Health (School Nurse) in Torfaen. Ryan was lucky enough to get a job within the team he was placed with during the BSc (Hons) Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing) course at USW.

"I completed my children’s nurse training in 2012, having worked as an auxiliary nurse for a number of years. As a qualified nurse, I spent four years working on a Special Care Baby Unit. During my nurse training I had spent six weeks with a school nurse and knew at that time it was a specialty I wanted to go into at some point in my career.

Change of direction

I reached a point on SCBU where I felt I needed a change and so made the decision to enter school nursing and pursue that as a career. I entered the SCPHN course with no prior experience of school nursing, unlike the rest of the school nurses in my cohort.

Both the theory and practice elements of the course provided me with a firm foundation to build upon. In theory, I particularly enjoyed the simulation experiences we were given and found these beneficial to completing the course. The modules work well with the practice elements and students are strongly encouraged to focus on the module topic in practice. This helps reinforce what we were learning in university with what happens in practice.

Great support

My practice teacher and personal tutor were both encouraging and understanding of my lack of previous experience but supported me in converting my previous nursing experience and knowledge and adapting it for school nursing. I was placed in a great team that helped and supported me and I was lucky enough to get a job within that team at the end of the course.

The practice elements of the course have given me such a great foundation of knowledge to build on as I start working as a SCPHN School Nurse.

The course has given me so much! It has given me a robust knowledge base to move forward as a school nurse.

New job has brought better work life balance

What’s more, my new role has more routine hours, which has have given me a far better work/life balance than I had with shifts.

I would recommend the course to any nurse who may be considering a change in direction. School Nursing has challenged me in being more autonomous and working in different environments to work with children, young people and their families to improve their health and well-being.

It’s a course with a huge workload, but if you take each module at a time and stay focused then you can get through it and it is definitely worth it in the end. I’m definitely glad I did it!"