"I was looking for a career where I could make a difference and nursing stood out as the perfect choice."

Meet Ewout who shares his experiences as a children’s nursing student. 

Ewout Van Sabben

Final year student, Children’s nursing

Ewout previously worked as a healthcare support worker and is currently completing his degree in children’s nursing. Once he graduates, Ewout already has a job lined up as a paediatric nurse in Gloucestershire.

What made you choose children’s nursing?

I previously worked as a healthcare support worker with young adults with learning difficulties and in that role, I developed a real passion for helping people.

I used to volunteer at summer camps and in primary schools and this work made me realise that I really wanted to be involved in childcare.  When it came to selecting a nursing specialty, children’s nursing was definitely the right choice for me.

Where are you studying?

I’m currently a final year children’s nursing student at the University of West London. I’m finishing my dissertation on innovation in practice and I’m just about to start my final placement before I graduate. Then, I will start my first role as a paediatric nurse in Gloucestershire.

To be able to go into that situation and be able to help calm the child down and assure the parent that everything was ok was incredible.

  • My degree has given me the knowledge and experience that I need to be successful as a paediatric nurse. The university lectures have been really interactive and engaging and cover subjects ranging from how the NHS works to learning about the vulnerability of our patients.

    I’ve learned more on-the-job, practical skills on my varied placements in different hospitals. The healthcare professionals that I’ve worked with during my placements have been amazing, too!

  • Every day is different depending on whether you’re at university or on a placement. During university hours, there is a combination of interactive lectures and time spent honing your practical skills with patient simulators and manikins. This is a really great part of the course and allows you to perfect the knowledge and experience that you receive in lectures.

    On placement, you spend time working with and learning from a wide range of healthcare professionals – from doctors and nurses to directors and healthcare assistants.

    Your placements develop as you go through university – you start off observing and shadowing your mentor to then being more hands on and taking control. My mentors have all been so approachable and answer any questions I’ve had. 

  • It’s the impact you have on your patients and their families and the relationships you can build with them. Seeing a child leave the hospital in a better place and with a smile on their face is the most amazing feeling.

  • As soon as I finish my degree, I will start my first job as a paediatric nurse at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. I am set to begin my preceptorship programme which will ease me into the world of work after being at university. 

  • None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t chosen a degree in children’s nursing – it’s really opened so many doors for me. I’m even going to be published in the Nursing Children & Young People academic journal.

    Nursing isn’t just what you see on TV. There are different opportunities and so many specialisms that you can go into – you could be a researcher, work in management or as a clinical leader.  Whatever your dream is, you can achieve it in nursing.

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