Jack sets his sights on becoming a nurse

Caring for others has always come naturally to north-east pupil Jack McKenzie who aims to progress into a career in nursing.

Aboyne Academy pupil Jack McKenzie.The S4 Aboyne Academy pupil developed an interest in the profession after helping his friends and recently spent a week at Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Nursing Summer School to gain a deeper insight in to the field.

Jack (16) found out about the opportunity at school and secured a place after applying through his guidance teacher.

Jack said: “I have always enjoyed helping and caring for people and this inspired me to get into nursing. My friends always come to me with their problems and being able to help them is very rewarding.

“There are so many different fields you can go into with nursing and I’m particularly interested in mental health. It’s completely different to what people think. Nurses have a lot more involvement with the patients and there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.”

Jack has opted to focus on training to be a male nurse and says the summer school has motivated him to gain the Highers he needs to apply to study at RGU.

He said: “I was the only boy involved at the summer school this year and I think it’s because of the perception that nursing is just a female oriented career.

“However, this is not the case, this field is completely open to males and I wish more people would get involved. I encourage those who are thinking of a career in nursing to attend programmes such as the Nursing Summer School to find out what it's really like and to decide if it’s the right path for you.

“I’ve had a great experience and have been really impressed by RGU’s facilities. The university has great training resources for nursing and the Clinical Skills Centre provides a real life environment to learn in. The staff have been very supportive and encouraging which has made this a memorable experience.”

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.

Jane Mair, 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 Jack has shown 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.

“Our Nursing Summer School is 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. 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.”

Recruitment for RGU’s 2017 Nursing Summer School will commence next spring and is coordinated through secondary school guidance teachers across the north-east.

Release by Maryam Hussain
RGU Communications Office
Press and media enquiries