Case study

Clare's time to pursue her nursing dreams

For as long as she could remember, Clare Maxwell had dreamt of becoming a nurse but never felt the time was right to pursue her dream career. Now she is finally graduating as a fully qualified nurse after completing BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) at our Chesterfield site. 

A long time coming

Clare took her first steps towards a nursing career a quarter of a century ago. She explains: “I first applied to university at the age of 20, but I found out three months later that I was pregnant with my first child, meaning I had to withdraw my application to look after my daughter.

"Further down in my life, I attempted to apply for the second time. However, I was told that my second unborn child would be born with a disability that was going to affect his legs. I felt like it would never be my time to become a nurse as I needed to care for my son.

"Over time, as I watched my eldest go to university and my youngest complete his GCSEs with minor issues relating to his disability, I knew that it was officially my third time lucky to submit my nursing application at 42."

Working on the front line during the pandemic

As Clare was settling into student life, the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Clare found herself out on placement during this time, which she fully embraced.

“Beginning the degree was scary, but I felt at ease when I met everyone since they were all lovely people" she says. "A few months into starting and the Coronavirus pandemic began. This adjustment was a struggle at first as we had to study at home while still doing our placements in the hospital.

"It might sound odd, but I enjoyed going to my placements during the pandemic as I felt I was helping the cause and reducing the strain on the NHS.”

Realising her dreams

Clare is now graduating as a fully qualified nurse. She says: “Three years on, while coping with personal issues and a growing family, I can finally say I have made it to the end of my degree - something I never thought would be possible!

"To top it all off, I was this year’s winner of the University’s Service Improvement Idea. My idea was to incorporate Makaton training to healthcare providers to increase communication – a very proud moment for me.

"It’s been a very long, hard, tiring and stressful road to get to the end of my nursing degree, but it’s not one I’d change for the world.”

Clare Maxwell smiling in her nursing uniform

I’ve met the most amazing people, I’ve improved my confidence and self-esteem, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities the University has allowed me to take.

Clare Maxwell
BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)