Nicola Bowsher, BNurs 2000 | Advanced Nurse Practitioner, The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

Nicola graduated with a 2:1 Bachelor of Nursing Honours degree in 2000, and is currently working as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham.

Can you tell us more about your current role?

My current role involves me working closely with the spinal team, in assessing and managing both pre and postoperative spinal patients both on the wards and in clinic. I am a nurse prescriber, which is an additional skill and vital to my role in working closely with the doctors and nurses on the ward to streamline patients’ care. 

What are your career experiences since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

After leaving Birmingham with my nursing degree, I went on to work in Trauma and Orthopaedics; Intermediate Care; and finally in Emergency Medicine as a nurse assessor in admission avoidance. In 2006 I left nursing to study medicine at The University of Leicester, and gained a place on their graduate entry course.

I was inspired to go on to study medicine from my studies at Birmingham, and my career path. I wanted to extend and further develop the nursing/medical  knowledge and skills I had gained whilst a student and qualified nurse. Sadly due to ill health I left having completed  nearly three years, and a full clinical year in a variety of specialities. I left with Bachelor of Medical Science degree, and first in my dissertation.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here?

My time at The University of Birmingham, was key to my current career. It set solid foundations in my theory and skills. I was able to undertake placements in a variety of clinical settings, and always with the support of good clinical teachers and mentors. The modules were always delivered at an excellent standard, and linked to current research. It certainly help start my nursing career in a positive manner! As a Birmingham graduate, I have always taken pride in my training background due to the knowledge, skills and experiences I gained. The focus on research was central to the degree, and my nursing  research and dissertation has certainly helped me throughout  my career.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

As a current nursing student, I would advise them to enjoy their course as I did; to work closely with your mentors on the wards to learn from them; to continue to link theory with practice by applying anatomy and physiology  to patient care; and to be lucky enough to work overseas as part of their elective.