Third time’s the charm for graduate Ben

A dedicated nurse has taken the next step in his career, after celebrating his latest degree from Robert Gordon University (RGU).

Ben SutherlandBen Sutherland (34) graduated with an MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice at a ceremony at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom on Wednesday 7 December.

It is his third degree, following his completion of a BSc in Adult Nursing from the University of Stirling in 2007 and his Bachelors in District Nursing from RGU in 2012.

Ben said: “I have wanted to be a nurse since secondary school, which was my main motivation throughout my different times at university.

“After finishing at the University of Stirling, I started work as a Ward Nurse, before I wanted to move into something more specialised. That is what led me to train as a District Nurse and move out of the hospital.

“I was able to enhance my skills, while working independently and it increased my desire to become an Advanced Practitioner.”

Ben, who is originally from Exeter but now lives in Forres, worked on his latest achievement as a distance learning student, while working as the Nurse Manager for the District Nursing service in Lossiemouth.

He said: “The MSc course was a fantastic challenge and, while the most difficult thing I have ever undertaken, it was immensely rewarding. I chose to come back to RGU, as I enjoyed every minute of my time here. The staff and facilities are excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate to study here again.

“Even though I was a distance learning student, I very much felt part of the university and really enjoyed the days through in Aberdeen. I have made some good friends who I’ll keep in touch with.”

Ben’s time working towards his MSc was marked by the births of his two young children, Oliver and Eleanor. He said that, while this added some challenges to his work, it also increased his determination.

He said: “Having new-borns meant that all of my studying and coursework had to be done at 3am, but it also made me want to work even harder to succeed – so we could afford to feed and clothe them at least. I also moved house twice during the course, so it is amazing that I passed and that my family are still speaking to me.”

Now that he has completed his latest degree, Ben has been employed as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Moray Coast Medical Practice in Lossiemouth. He is now responsible for managing patients throughout their entire care, including assessment, diagnosis, prescribing and follow-up.

However, his time at university may not be finished, as there’s one final step he’s considering taking in the future.

Ben said: “This achievement is a massive honour for me, as I never thought I would get one degree, let alone three.

“I would love to be able to help others the way that I have been helped throughout this course, so I would be keen to explore some form of clinical teaching in the future. But for the meantime, I am quite happy to enjoy my break from studying and spend some time working away.”

Release by Jonathon Milne
Communications Officer | Health and Sport
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