Two events for the University of Wolverhampton students were held at St Peter’s Church in Wolverhampton and St Matthew’s Church in Walsall, and celebrated all nurses of Cohort 120, who studied across all three university campuses.
Funded by The Joan Argyle Shambaugh Bursary, each nurse who studied adult nursing, children’s nursing, mental health nursing, and learning disability nursing was presented with a special badge to mark the end of their studies.
The first ceremony, held in Wolverhampton, was organised by Olivia Drysdale from Telford, who, after being inspired by nursing from an early age, decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps to become a nurse.
Olivia, 27, who studied adult nursing, said: “I’ve always been inspired to be a nurse, seeing the value and impact my mum has on people’s lives – I knew that I wanted to provide that care and make a difference to someone.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at university, it was an odd start after going into lockdown in a matter of weeks of starting our first year. But I soon started to see the benefits of online learning and enjoyed being able to look back over the lectures as many times as I needed.
“Coming back to campus and meeting the rest of my cohort - bouncing off each other and making some true friends was an experience on its own. It was the missing piece of my student journey and I’m glad I got to experience student life on campus too.
“I’m so proud to be where I am today, I couldn’t wait to wear my blues and to celebrate with my family and friends, and the rest of my amazing cohort.”
After receiving a ‘golden ticket’ following her successful work placement, Oliva now works in the oncology and haematology department at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.
The second ceremony, held in Walsall, was organised by Megan Burke, who is also following in her mother’s footsteps, having graduated from the same course in 2019.
Megan, 26, who is a former musician, said: “Music was my life before university - I was working on community projects, using music as a vehicle to help people. The more I helped others, the more I realised I wanted to go a step further, which led me to an unexpected path to follow in my mum’s footsteps toward a career in nursing.
“As excited as I am to start my next chapter, I’m definitely going to miss the comfort of university. I’ve felt so supported by the tutors throughout and I formed really good relationships with them. We are also a close-knit cohort and it’s been fantastic to see everyone celebrating in their white uniforms one last time.”
Megan, from Wednesbury, has been successful in landing a role in the critical care department at Sandwell Hospital.