An Adult Nursing graduand feels fully prepared for life on the wards - thanks to the practical and financial help offered by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Stacey Gavin landed her "dream role" at University Hospital Coventry before her final placement and has just finished her sixth week on the respiratory ward.
The 23-year-old, who graduates this week, said: "It's what I've worked towards and I'm enjoying it."
Helping her make the transition from student to staff nurse is DMU's Employability Award - a new initiative offering final-year students £100 towards the costs of securing employment.
She said: "The money helped bridge the gap between my bursary ending and getting my first salary, for example it ensured I had money for parking at the hospital induction day.
"DMU offers really good support. They also gave me a grant through the Access to Learning Fund to help me get to and from placement because of the big costs I faced."
Coventry-born Stacey is positive about all aspects of the course, which she applied to through Clearing after missing out on a midwifery place at her local university.
"I dropped a grade but I didn't want to put off going to university," said Stacey. "I went through Clearing and DMU's offer was based on UCAS points as opposed to grades."
Within two hours of phoning, Stacey was invited to an interview the following week - and she was delighted to be offered a place.
She said: "DMU have more placements - you have a medical, surgery and community one each year - which give you confidence and skills and, with three big hospitals in Leicester, there is more to see.
"The teaching on the course is good and valued."
To add another string to her bow, Stacey volunteered for a Junior Emergency Medical event, where DMU and University of Leicester students demonstrate acute clinical skills to sixth formers interested in a career in health.
"It makes you realise how much knowledge you have gained," said Stacey, "and some of the material came up in our exams!"
Along with the friends she has made, Stacey's university highlight is the way DMU has prepared her for her chosen career.
"I applied for my job early because I didn't want to be running around during my final placement," added Stacey, who will graduate this summer with a First.
"We had lectures on CV writing and applications and were given a realistic snapshot of what we'll be doing.
"I chose the job in Coventry because I wanted to be in a ward environment, so I can learn a lot of skills and challenge myself."
Posted on Monday 27th March 2017