Grant Byrne, 25, from Glasgow, is a BSc (Hons) Nursing student at QMU.

In addition to his studies at QMU, Grant contributes to the Nursing Standard Magazine as a member of its Readers’ Panel. He is also a Student Information Officer for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and has previously been elected to the Scottish seat on the RCN Students’ Committee. In this role, Grant represented UK nursing students within the RCN and attended the European Nursing Students Association and the National Union of Students on behalf of the RCN Students’ Committee.

Outside of nursing, Grant enjoys looking after his dog, taking driving lessons, building his own furniture and going to the cinema. He’s also a regular theatre-goer and in the last year has taken up running.

Why did you choose to study BSc (Hons) Nursing at QMU?

“I decided to study nursing in my last year at school, having taken care of my grandparents growing up. The job just felt right for me.

“QMU has a reputation for excellence in nursing, which is why I chose to apply here. I’ve studied nursing before, but had to leave my course before qualifying. When returning to study, QMU was top of my list because of its focus on person-centred care.

“The course here is well designed to suit all kinds of learners too, with a mix of lectures, self-directed learning and facilitated group work.

“When I came along for interview, I was so impressed by QMU’s location. It has a real village feel. Despite this, the University is less than 10 minutes on the train before you’ll find yourself in central Edinburgh.

“The interview process was really great, too. Service users were involved in the process and current students came along to answer any pressing questions we might have.”

Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh/Scotland?

“I’m from Glasgow, so Edinburgh offered a nice change of scenery, whilst still being close to home. I actually commute through each day from Glasgow as my family and work are through in Glasgow. Edinburgh’s a fantastic city for students, and there’s so much to do and see.

“Edinburgh is a small city, so walking about is really easy and there’s so many great places to eat and drink. There’s a fantastic atmosphere around the Festival season, so I recommend people take time during their summer to go along.”

Do you feel supported enough at QMU?

“I’ve really loved my time at QMU so far. Starting a new course is a daunting prospect, but I honestly felt like my lecturers couldn’t do enough for me. I was well supported in settling into second year, and from what I’ve heard, third year is much the same.”

What are your top tips for future nursing students at QMU?

“My top tip is to look after yourself first and foremost. You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. Nursing is a physically and emotionally demanding course at times and it’s far from easy. If you’re not coping, don’t be afraid to tell someone. Sometimes we all need a helping hand – that’s why we have nurses after all.

“If you’re interested in nursing, it helps to volunteer in a hospital or care home. This will help give you an idea of what nursing care looks like. You might also benefit from contacting student nursing networks on Facebook and other forms of social media. There are many, and students are more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. It’s a great way to link up with other applicants who might be your future classmates.

“For anyone sitting on the fence about applying, think about how you’ll feel when your first patient looks you in the eye and says “thank you”. I can honestly say it’s a great feeling knowing you’ve made someone’s day that little bit better.”

What are your plans after graduating from QMU?

“I have interests in public health, but with every new placement I find another area I’d love to work in, so we’ll see what the future holds. All I know for certain is that I’d like to live and work overseas, though I’ve yet to decide where!”



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