Jobs for student nurses are far and few between, especially with the global pandemic COVID19 thrown into the mix, however I wanted to share my experience of changing training practice earlier this year to encourage anyone considering taking the leap into a new challenge.

I am nearing the end of my first year of studies at college on the diploma route and as a relative newcomer to the industry after a complete career change, I was unsure of what to expect in practice. I did not hesitate to accept the first job that was offered to me, as we know these training roles are rare. The prac-tice was a small independent clinic, with a mixture of shifts including reception work. Initially this was exciting and challenging, the team were extremely supportive and I gained invaluable skills in client care and nursing consults such as weight clinics and puppy and kitten checks.

I am interested in emergency and critical care nursing and unfortunately these cases were not common in the clinic, therefore I knew that I would have to seek a new employer to further my knowledge in this area. This seemed a daunting task, but I saw a role advertised at a large corporate 24-hour hospital and jumped at the chance despite the contrast of the two roles and companies.

The change was made easier after guidance from my college and I made sure to concentrate on particular aspects of my NPL that I knew would be more achievable in my previous clinic.

Fast-forward a few months and I am pleased with my decision, since the move I have been constantly evolving and furthering my nursing skills. I have had the chance to focus on the areas which I am most interested in such as patient care.

Each nursing job is unique and the majority of practices will involve varied roles, however, I think it is important that student nurses endeavour to explore and pursue their own areas of interest from the beginning of their training wherever possible.

Student nurses should become aware of the opportunities available despite not yet being qualified. The training practice is crucial to unlocking this vocation further and therefore students should look for a place where they have the chance to express and evolve their passions whilst being supported.

For anyone who is unhappy in their current role for whatever reason, it may be worth a look around for another practice. Many practices will allow and encourage visit days which is an excellent opportunity to get a feel for a new clinic. Whilst it is nerve wracking to jump into a new challenge during such uncertain and unprecedented times, I can certainly vouch for giving it a try. 


Hannah McCabe

Hannah McCabe is a first-year diploma route student at the College of Animal Welfare in North London and works at a small animal general practice in Richmond


• VOL 35 • August 2020 • Veterinary Nursing Journal