Daryl looks to a caring future

Caring for others has always come naturally to north-east pupil Daryl Bell who has set his sights on a successful career in nursing.

Elgin Academy pupil Daryl Bell has set his sights on a successful career in nursing.From a young age the Elgin Academy pupil has been interested in the profession and recently spent a week at Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) School of Nursing and Midwifery to find out more.

Daryl (17) found out about RGU’s week-long Nursing Summer School during the October Holidays via his school bulletin and applied to attend through his guidance teacher.

“I’ve always been interested in a career in nursing,” he said. “It’s a good feeling being able to help people and it’s something which I find very rewarding.

“It is appealing because there are so many different opportunities and specialist fields in nursing you can branch off into. I’m keen to train to be an offshore rig medic which I’d be able to do after two years as a registered nurse.”

Although many of his school friends are keen to become engineers, mechanics and electricians, Daryl has opted to focus on training to be a male nurse and is determined to gain the three Highers he needs to apply to RGU.

He said: “People ask me why I want to be a nurse but everyone can make their own decisions and this is what I want to do. The stereotype of nursing being a career for girls might have been relevant in previous generations but times have changed and I see it has a career I can be successful in as well as help people.

“The Nursing Summer School at RGU has been a great experience and I picked up new skills each day which will help me to become a fully qualified nurse.”

RGU’s Nursing Summer School, which is open to 16 to 18 year-olds, is a free educational experience to help interested pupils make more informed decisions about whether nursing is the right career choice for them.

During the week participants learn and practise core nursing skills, gain an insight into student life and observe nursing work within real clinical settings. This included visits to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Woodend Hospital, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital and Royal Cornhill Hospital.

Margo Learmonth, lecturer at RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, co-ordinates the Summer School and taster days with university colleagues, in collaboration with NHS Grampian.

She said: “It’s great to see Daryl showing a keen interest in pursuing a career in nursing and we are doing everything we can to encourage more young men to apply for our courses. It is a career they could be very effective and successful in.

“Sessions at the Summer School are designed to empower young people with the knowledge and experience to help them make informed choices about their future careers.

“It is vital to give a fully-rounded view of the nursing profession in all its forms along with its challenges and huge rewards. At the Summer School we showcase a wide variety of jobs, including adult, children and young people nursing, as well as mental health nursing so the young people can see what the demands of each role involve.”

RGU is now recruiting for next year's free Summer School and taster programmes. For more information, please contact Una Lyon on (01224) 262920 or email

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport