Thomas Bowden

BNurs Nursing (Adult) | 2nd Year Student


Firstly, I’m a proud born and raised Brummie. I love my city and how diverse it is, and I want to contribute to the healthcare of its population. Secondly, the University of Birmingham has an amazing reputation and I liked that the nursing school is based within the medical school. There is a close link with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which is renowned for its quality of care and covers so many specialities. I knew that studying at UoB would expose me to a melting pot of different patients and specialities.

I have entered nursing as a mature student, with a background in psychology, particularly health psychology and behaviour change. I come from a NHS family, so I always knew I wanted a job that would see me helping people in need and that this would give me a sense of fulfilment. I’m a natural people-person and I thought nursing would provide me with an opportunity to have face-to-face contact with patients, and that the theory and skills I have from my background would complement it as a career. Also, the opportunities in nursing are so vast that it really can take you anywhere.

I always knew I wanted to go into adult nursing as it was in line with my career aspirations. My first adult placement on a renal surgery ward confirmed this. However, being able to undertake a mental health and child placement in first year was an invaluable learning experience. I definitely learnt skills that I’ve taken with me and used on adult placements.  

Thomas Bowden

“It can feel like a bit of juggling act sometimes, with assignments, placements, a social life and a part time job. You do have to put the hours in, but the nursing school is very supportive and the hard work pays off.”

 I think it’s always important to remember how you felt as a first year student, both in the classroom and while out on clinical placement. It can be intimidating, exciting and nerve-wracking all at once, and I think remembering how I felt will help me support new nursing students throughout the rest of my time training and also my future career.

Patients are happy to talk and share their stories with you when they might be at a vulnerable time in their life, which is a real privilege. Although you’re supernumerary as a student, you really do have to get stuck in and so you are directly contributing to the healthcare patients receive. This is extremely fulfilling.

I would like to specialise in critical care, working in ITU, with the potential to work my way up to being a member of the critical care outreach team and/or advanced critical care practitioner. However, I also have an interest in sexual health and HIV, and am interested in the possibility of working towards becoming a clinical nurse specialist in this area. The areas are quite different, but that shows how varied the opportunities in nursing are.

Thomas recently attended Buckingham Palace as the England student nurse representative. He was chosen by the Council of Deans through his engagement and particpation in the Council of Deans Leadership Programme last year. You can read more about his success in this news article.   

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Thomas Bowden