Sheila’s story – Two Babies and a Burglar

After 3 years of applying to enrol on the Adult Nursing course I was finally honoured to be offered a position at City University. Enjoying my time as a 1st year Nursing student, I discovered that I was pregnant with my 2nd child weeks into course. With excitement and fear running through my veins, I was unsure of what was to happen. After informing the course leaders I realised that all would be well and my dream as a nurse was far from over. They arranged a meeting where we discussed my due date, maternity leave and my date to return back on the course. With fight and determination, I waddled my way through to the end of the year and left for maternity leave. The following year I was seamlessly re-added to the next cohort and all the staff were amazing in welcoming me back.

Now in my second year I was almost there, the intensity of the course hit me and with 2 children under 5 and placements overlapping assignment due dates, It was HARD…..but I got through it. Before I knew it, it was time for the home stretch as I entered my final year……but……only to find out that my 3rd child was on his way. It was like DeJa’Vu when I went back to the course leaders who were once again extremely helpful. All my dates were calculated and we had a clear plan.

One again I re-entered and joined my 3rd and final cohort and worked hard to reach my final week on my final placement at Homerton University hospital. At this point I had secured a Job in the hospital, completed and signed my Practice Assessment Document (PAD) and On Going record of Achievement (OAR) and had 1 final shift. Everything was perfect and everything was ready to hand in. I went home after a12 hour shift tired and relieved to be finishing soon. I put the kids into bed and slept……….

Unknown to me, during me peaceful sleep a burglar entered my house at 3am and took my car keys, car, baby bag and placement back pack. The following morning I woke up to find myself and my 3 kids locked in the house, I instantly realised what had happened. Lo and behold my completed PAD and OAR WAS GONE. My career was OVER…..

Following my 999 call, I immediately emailed every single relevant person I could think of at City and Homerton University Hospital to inform them. I had no hope but I knew that was the right thing to do. All I could think was….

1. I’ve reached my 5-year deadline to complete this degree (due to my maternity leaves)? – I WON’T GET AN EXTENTION.
2. How would I redo all my hard work from each placement I had done for the year?
3. Why didn’t I listen to the university’s advice and photocopy my documents throughout the year?

I had no choice but to sit through the weekend not knowing the answer to any of my questions. Early Monday morning, the emails started flowing through and the answer was DO IT ALL AGAIN with a 2-week extension. IMPOSSIBLE, STRAIGHT FAIL, NO CHANCE……that’s what I said to that. Hopelessly I went to university to collect band new documents and started to make arrangement to meet with my mentors to resign everything. My hospital practice facilitator was sooooooo supportive but I was still in disbelief as to how this was going to work out. The news of mentors being on night shifts, annual leave and sick leave gave me heart palpitations. I literally abandoned my kids and lived at the hospital for 2 weeks chasing after nurses. With over 200 signatures resigned, I flicked though my documents to find that it was all done.

As I write this, I still have no idea how I re-signed my final year placements in 2 weeks. I can only say that God saw me through it and attached me fantastic people who supported me every step of the way. After 4 weeks my car was recovered in perfect condition and I received my PIN to start practicing as a registered NHS Nurse. Thank you, City University, for getting me though these dramatic 5 years.


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