An Aberdeen-born nursing lecturer at RGU is on cloud nine after landing another achievement in her journey from nursing student to fully-qualified academic.
Katie Baxter (27) graduated alongside many of her students, picking up a Post Graduate Certificate Learning, Teaching and Assessment (Nursing and Midwifery), at a ceremony at Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre on Thursday 12 July.
Hailing from Milltimber, Katie has a long-standing relationship with RGU, which began as a nursing student back in 2009.
Looking back to her decision to study at RGU, she said: “I always had a natural inclination towards healthcare, as my dad spent his whole career as a GP – also following in his own father’s footsteps. While another big influence came when I was young and we gave hospice care to a close family friend with bowel cancer.
“Remembering those experiences and hearing the stories from my parents of the nurses they came into contact with, both in and out of the hospital, helped me decide that nursing was the ideal career for me.”
Following her four years studying adult nursing at the university, Katie began working as a qualified professional in a variety of roles, including in interventional radiology theatres, care homes and community settings.
A few short years later, in 2016, she became aware of a chance to return to the RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, this time in the role of teaching assistant. Despite being happy working in the community, the opportunity was too good to ignore.
She said: “While my dad’s career led me towards healthcare, my mum’s passion for education always imbued me with the understanding of how gratifying teaching can be. So, I figured, why not apply and hope for the best?
“Funnily enough, I was offered the job right before my wedding day and my brother learned he’d successfully got a job with the university the very next day. So good things definitely do come in threes.”
After less than a year, Katie’s role as teaching assistant evolved into a full-time lecturing position, which saw her begin work toward her PGCert qualification, under the peer-observation of the same lecturers who trained her as a young student.
Now also acting as the US Exchange Coordinator for the School of Nursing and Midwifery, there is little rest ahead for this aspiring academic, who has developed a love for passing on the lessons from her own experiences to her students.
Katie added: “I aim to complete my MSc with a focus on Higher Nursing Education and continuing to strive for excellence in my career as a lecturer at RGU.
“Looking back, I don’t think I could have come so far if it wasn’t for the guidance of my own lecturers – now colleagues – and I really enjoy being able to do the same for my students and use my experiences to benefit the next generation of healthcare professionals.
“If I could talk to myself back on my first day on campus, my main advice would be to ‘just say yes’. If there’s an opportunity that comes your way, why not give it a go? You never know where it will lead, so don’t let it go by you. That’s how I got here today and that’s what I tell every single one of my students.”
Release by Jonathon
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