Nursing trio celebrate friendship and graduation success

A trio of students celebrated their graduation from an Adult Nursing degree, which has brought them together as the best of friends, on Friday 9 December.

Nursing trio graduatesOn the day, Hatton local Alicia Buchan joined her fellow students Jemma Menhinick and Emma Johnson, who began the course four and a half years ago on a part-time basis. The trio, who recently celebrated the end of their studies with a trip to New York, are the only graduates from the 2007 intake to the flexible degree programme. 

Emma (39) from Elrick Circle, Bridge of Don, has juggled family life and studies for the duration of the programme. The mother of two, who has held down a part time job as an auxiliary nurse for the duration, also had to cope with the loss of her own mother in 2009.

Alicia (33), from Park View, Hatton, similarly managed to combine various responsibilities throughout her student career, including raising her two children, caring for her father who has dementia and working as a care assistant with Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Also a mother of two, Jemma (27) was five months pregnant with her son, Caidyn, when she commenced her studies in March 2007. When he was born Jemma, who hails from Byron Crescent, Aberdeen, was in the middle of her first clinical placement. Determined to keep up with her studies, she only took two weeks off and, after a further six-week university holiday, returned to her placement.

During the following four years, Jemma held down a job as an auxiliary nurse at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and got married in Cyprus. Incidentally, Jemma’s daughter Aimie celebrated her sixth birthday on the same day as her mother’s graduation.

Commenting on behalf of her friends, Jemma said: “Last week’s ceremony was a huge milestone for all three of us, as individuals and as colleagues. During the last four and a half years, we have become very close friends and have supported each other through ups and downs.

“At times we thought we would never reach this point, but by working together and with the support of our academic and placement mentors we have achieved it. I feel that we are an example to other mature students as we prove that it’s possible to juggle family, work and study.”

Emma, Alicia and Jemma have each secured jobs with NHS Grampian.

Photo caption:
(From left): Emma Johnson, Jemma Menhinick and Alicia Buchan.

Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389