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Nursing stories: How Iveta was inspired to make a difference in care homes

Find out how Iveta is studying to become a mental health nurse and read about the people that inspired her along the way.

Iveta's career story

Iveta shares her story from getting health care experience as a support worker in a care home to becoming a student nurse. She also shares her plans for her future nursing career. 

Who is Iveta?

Iveta is studying mental health nursing at Abertay University. She lives in Aberdeen and travels to Dundee for her studies. Iveta also works part-time in a care home, which helps her develop the skills she uses during her nursing placements.

Iveta’s journey to becoming a nursing student

When Iveta came to the UK 15 years ago, her first job in Scotland was in a fish factory. The factory was an uncomfortable working environment,  and it gave her the motivation to find something else. Iveta knew she wanted to achieve more.

She came across a college prospectus for North East Scotland College and applied to do an introductory-level course in health and social care. Iveta then progressed to an advanced health and social care course. By this point, she knew she wanted to study nursing.

After a 3-year study break which Iveta spent improving her English she applied to study mental health nursing at Abertay university. 

Why mental health nursing?

When asked why she chose mental health nursing, Iveta said, “I was reading a lot of mental health books and podcasts at the time which encouraged me to go into mental health nursing.”

Iveta says that seeing other nurses in the care home where she worked motivated her to go into nursing. She commented, “As a health care support worker, I could see that mental health nurses were so vital in the care home setting. They were so confident, knowledgeable, and inspiring.”

Finding the balance

Iveta’s university programme is split into 6-week blocks of studying followed by a 6-week block of  nursing placements.  She often has early morning lectures, followed by a catch-up with fellow nursing students. Iveta then studies in the university library for the rest of the day.

Alongside her studies, Iveta works part-time in a care home. This can be challenging, especially when she is on a nursing placement. 
Most of Iveta’s placements are local to her, which helps to cut down her travel time each day. 

The joy that Iveta gets from being on placement is worth the long days. She says, “I enjoy my days whenever I feel that I contribute to the team and I’m being helpful. It makes me feel good.”

Beyond graduation

When asked what her future plans are, Iveta told us, “Graduating!” With one year left of her nursing degree, she is already planning her career as a registered nurse.

“I plan to work with older mental health people in a hospital setting, but I would love to return to care homes too. Working as a health care support worker has shown me that I can make a difference in care homes as a registered mental health nurse.”

Iveta’s advice for anyone thinking of a career as a mental health nurse

Speaking from experience Iveta says, “Go for it! Nursing is a rewarding career.” Iveta loves seeing a positive difference in the people she is caring for. She also emphasises how much her colleagues make her smile and how satisfying the job is when everything goes smoothly.

Iveta advises anyone wanting to study mental health nursing not to wait for a perfect time. She added, “Things will work out.”

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