Postgraduates Students Visit to Western General Hospital

On 16th October students from the MSc in Advanced Nursing Practice spent an unusual afternoon visiting the Western General Hospital, instead of having a regular Personal & Professional Development tutorial.

Western General Hospital

The group met a former MSc student, Angie Balfour, who gave the current students a nice opportunity to explore the hospital and provided them with a deeper insight about the environment of NHS in Lothian area.

Angie presenting ERAS project

First Angie presented her work as a senior research nurse at WGH mainly looking at ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) a programme designed to aid fast recovery after surgical interventions.

Students had a good opportunity to ask questions and exchange knowledge and experience among a diverse multinational group.

Students in Colorectal Unit meeting room

Students discussing the NHS environment with Angie

By the end of the day, students were thankful to Angie for providing such an opportunity to explore the WGH, and for the new ideas they had after the ERAS presentation. Thanks to Sharon and Angie for organizing this visit. As a group, we are all looking forward to visiting other NHS settings in the Lothian area to learn and discover even more.

Esra Sinary
MSc Advanced Nursing Practice 2017-18

Council of Deans of Health

Hey all, my name is Emma Jane Robertson, I’m a nursing student in my third year at the university. This year I was accepted for the Council of Deans UK-wide Student Leadership Programme, a 6 month long course designed to create leadership skills in students who are working within a Nursing or Allied Health Professional role. So for the next few minutes let me grab your attention to tell you about what it’s about, why it’s important and if you’re a student nurse why you should apply for the course this coming year.

You may be thinking leadership as a student is premature? Surely I will work for a long time before even considering leadership and don’t need to worry about it now? That is the thoughts that went through my head on the train down to my first day on the course. As a, reasonably, fresh faced 2nd year nursing student, leadership hadn’t crossed my mind. I had a huge passion for nursing, the NHS and most importantly its patients, so did find myself questioning ways of better practice for them. But no, I could not even think of that so inexperienced and young, right? Then came an opportunity to join this programme and drinking a coffee in Costa, I off the cuff decided to apply, with no chance of getting in of course. Again wrong. Still, beyond my own understanding I was accepted onto the course and this new, unknown journey had begun.

Group work in Birmingham

The leadership programme began with a 2-day conference in Birmingham and is going to end with a single day workshop in London. This consists of leadership workshops, talks from people in all aspects of leadership in health care and learning about your own practical skills and creating your own leadership journey. Between the two conferences you get a mentor who works with you through your journey and the last conference ties it all off so you can then continue to use your leadership thereafter. I am currently in the in between, with my fantastic and inspiring mentor Jane Mair. In a brief blog I can only scrape the surface of what this course has done for me and the things I have done through the course. It has opened doors I could not have imagined, made me realise I can search for opportunities to make a change at whatever stage I am at and showed me a new insight into what working in healthcare is and let me see behind the scenes of the NHS and the vast roles in nursing – from a band to 5 to an academic to a manager of a hospital – and how each role is as equally challenging and important as the other. Its stretched me to be better, want better and not give up on our great, although flawed, NHS.

Do I know where I will end up in the nursing world, definitely not. But I do know I want to spend my career constantly learning more, experiencing more and if I get to make a difference to one patients journey it will be worth every ounce of work I spend my life doing.

So back to my beginning, how can I think of leadership? Should it be done as a student?

Yes. No doubt in my mind, no matter where you end up working you will use leadership. At university, as a student nurse, as a staff nurse, as a charge nurse, as a site director, you get my gist. Better leadership is better patient care, and is that not the goal of every single nurse out there.

Great Nursing Treasure Hunt

It’s Welcome Week at the University of Edinburgh and the events are abundant! In addition to the many student association and official university events, the School of Health in Social Science Masters in Nursing programme organised several welcoming activities for our new cohort!

Our first day of orientation was GREAT — very educational and equally as fun! The day began with a welcome reception. It was SO nice to meet my fellow MSc colleagues in person after interacting with them on Facebook during the summer. Our class is extremely diverse, oozing with nursing knowledge from Mongolia to Montreal. It is such a privilege to be pursuing my postgraduate education among such an ambitious, adventurous, and global group.

After a few seminars regarding the practicalities of the programme and online resources, we began the GREAT NURSING TREASURE HUNT!

First, we were divided into teams. I was delighted to be paired with Ning, a nurse from China and Andrew, a nurse from Canada! We spent about three hours together on the hunt and were able to get to know each others’ interests and personalities.

The treasure hunt (or scavenger hunt as we call it in the states) was HARD- and I have SEVEN miles, 15,000 steps, sore calves, and worn shoes (I wore heels) to prove it!

Our team name was called the “Healthy Haggis Hunters!” Other fun team names included the Daughters of Florence Nightengale and the Daring Bolts!

We set off on our mission, scouring the streets of Old Town in pursuit of answering a wide array of questions and taking photos with unique Edinburgh landmarks. Our first question: Where would you park your boat at Potterrow? After some searching, we stumbled upon Potterrow Port.

The Hungry Haggis Hunters at Potterrow Port!

Another mission was to take a picture with a golden mailbox! Traditionally, UK mailboxes are painted red. However, we learned that for every gold medal the UK wins at the Olympics (or Paralympics), they paint a mailbox GOLD!

A team at the golden post box!

Other questions had us gallivanting around the campus and taking pictures! Below are pictures of Hume’s lucky toes, a team at the Old College, a view of the ocean from Calton Hill, and a team with the famous camera obscura sign!

Overall, a few teams came out on TOP! Three prizes (Scottish shortbread, of course) were awarded. Below you can see pictures of the award-winning team representatives with their prizes!

From the top: Best Team Name, Most Points Awarded, and Best Picture

All in all, it was a great day of team building and adventuring our new university and home! Thank you to the course instructors who planned the day! I can’t wait for more adventures in the future!

Emily Sarah Taylor BSN, RN (MSc Advancing Nursing Practice)

Nursing Studies is Number 1!


Nursing studies at the University of Edinburgh came out on top of the Complete University Guide University rankings 2018 yesterday.
photo 60 years

Nursing Studies Staff and Students in the Medical Quad- celebrating 60 years of nursing education!

Our undergraduate honours degree has been given an impressive 100% overall score.

One of our current students was happy to tell us why she thinks the University of Edinburgh is the best place to study nursing.

‘I can name 100 reasons why studying to be a nurse at Edinburgh University is great: the balance of academic, clinical and patient-centered learning, the constant support, life-long friendships, wide array of resources, beautiful city or the endless opportunities it gives you. But simply I’d only say one thing, they don’t just teach you a degree but constantly push you to become the best nurse you can be and what more could you want than that’

Emma-Jane, Nursing Studies Class 2016-2020

More information on our nursing course can be found here



PhD Nursing Students’ Visit to the Sick Kids Hospital, Edinburgh.

Some of our Postgraduate students managed to fit a visit to the ‘Sick Kids’ hospital around their studies.

The visit was organised by Sharon Levy and Clarissa (a PhD Student in Nursing Studies).  A group of six PhD Nursing Students accompanied by Sharon went to the Royal hospital for Sick Children ‘Sick Kids’ on Thursday February 9, 2017.

The group were met by  Lindsay McLeish, a Health and Wellbeing Nurse, who gave the group a detailed lecture about her specialty area – Transition of clients (children) with long term illness/ disabilities especially spinal bifida and hydrocephalus into adult care.

There was time to explore the need for this service, schedule of activities, challenges faced and the proposed way forward as part of the session.

Time was also spent considering the Scotland Framework – Getting it right for every child and Ready, Steady, Go – Transition to adult services assessment package.

The PhD students who are all from different parts (countries) of the world also exchanged their experiences on how children with such conditions are managed in their different countries. Some suggestions were given, questions, concerns and clarifications were also made. It was an interactive and educative experience for all involved!

Nursing Studies Conference ‘Leaps in the Dark’

Nursing Studies @ The University of Edinburgh


‘Leaps in the Dark’: Celebrating 60 years of Nursing Studies

Venue: John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls, University of Edinburgh

Our alumni conference took place on November 4th and brought the Nursing Studies; 2016 Diamond Jubilee Year celebrations to a close. The purpose of the  conference was to hear about the ‘leaps’ taken by individuals and groups over the six decades of Nursing Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Why ‘Leaps in the Dark’? The conference theme was inspired by the history of the Nursing Studies’ Department: ‘A Leap in the Dark’ written by Dr Rosemary Weir (1996, the Book Factory, London) to mark the fortieth anniversary.

Click on the following links to read and see more about the conference:

Head of Nursing, Sheila Rodgers and Pam Smith one of the conference organisers;

Delegates gathering prior to the start of the conference;

Professor Tonks Fawcett during the break with Professor Margaret Alexander and one of the delegates:

Pam Smith (Right) with Linden Jeffrey (Left) her friend and co-alumna from the University of Manchester’s Bachelor of Nursing programme. The Edinburgh alumni conference gave Pam the idea to organise an alumna event in Manchester to mark 1966, the fiftieth anniversary of becoming  a nursing student. Read more about the event on the University of Manchester website below:

‘Super nurses’ re-unite 46 years after becoming England’s first with degrees

11 Nov 2016

Undergraduate Teaching on Clinical Information Management

Year 2 of our BN programme had a fascinating talk by a health informatician from NHS Lothian, as part of their ‘Professionalism’ course.

Marina Copping, Clinical Information Manager (Maternal, Children and Young People) described current developments of clinical IT systems and the importance of good record keeping.

She stressed that the focus of nursing care should always be the person and their holistic needs but reminded students that in the current financial climate without good data it is difficult to justify extra resources for nursing. Marina said that capturing the right data and having the means to safely share accurate and timely information is critical to maintaining safe and effective care. Year 2 students have another opportunity to consider eHealth and implications to community practice later on in this semester

International PG Students visit Clinical Areas in NHS Lothian

This year one of the current MSc Students hosted student colleagues her own clinical area.


Angie Balfour is currently an MSc student herself offered a group of international students an insight to her clinical work at NHS Lothian.

20161124_145016Angie was able to describe the research she is involved in and the innovative practice she is prompting both here in Scotland and across the globe. The students had many questions and reflections to share from their own practice and country of origin.

20161124_143431They were intrigued to see the early mobilisation of patients after elective surgery and the type of interventions Angie is able to embed within clinical practice. Being in the coldest corridor in Scotland will also be one of the vivid memories that our international students will take away from the fantastic visit that Angie organised for – A big thank you from us all!20161124_141222

Carolyn receives QNIS award

A current postgraduate student in Nursing Studies received an award from the Queens Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).  Carolyn is currently studying the Postgraduate Certificate in Managing Health and Social Care.

On the 10th November 1980 I started studying Nursing at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Exactly 36 years later on the 10th November 2016 I was nominated by Edinburgh University to receive the Queens Nursing Institute Scotland Academic Award for ‘promoting excellence in community nursing’.


As a true ‘lifelong learner’, I have experienced the evolution of nurse education from on the job hospital based teaching to degree level learning. At this later stage in my career, I am embracing the opportunity to study with, and learn from, fellow Nurses from across the world and generations.  Thank you to the Tutors and my fellow Students.

Well Done Carolyn!


Esther attends the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit 2016

After winning the European Regional Undergraduate Award in the Nursing and Midwifery category, the University of Edinburgh were generous enough to offer to cover my expenses to attend the Global Summit in Dublin from 8th – 11th November. The Global Summit is a four-day event filled with a variety of activities for the winners of any award and those on the highly commended list. The four days were absolutely packed with exciting and thought provoking speeches and presentations taking place in some of the most beautiful locations in Dublin. Accompanied by an award presentation and gala dinner I was extremely impressed by the large scale and attention to detail especially in a programme still in its early years.

I flew in from Edinburgh on Tuesday morning and was greeted by fellow students who were volunteering at the awards this year. From the moment I arrived everyone was so welcoming, especially the UA team. The first day was mostly for mingling and meeting some of the other 100+ attendees from 121 universities and 40 countries all over the world. We had a brief introduction to the team and plan for the week after checking into what I definitely think could be a contender for the coolest hostel ever. This was followed by a tapas style dinner and a pub quiz (which I now know is known as ‘Trivia’ across the Atlantic).


The first day of the Summit consisted of 76 presentations. Yes, 76. How could that be? Well, they were all 3 minute summaries of other attendee’s presentations that got them here in the first place. As well as being an extremely international group, the summit is made up of students and graduates of all disciplines and while I didn’t necessarily understand the concepts behind each presentation (I’m looking at you, philosophy) I was constantly amazed by some of the work my peers had done. I felt extremely privileged to be a part of this group. In the evening the official opening ceremony took place in the nearby Smock Alley Theatre where we were given a delicious three course meal and listened to some extremely inspiring speeches from some of the head judges of the Undergraduate Awards.

Day Two: Colloquium day. This took place at Farmleigh House; a venue known for usually only opening its doors for foreign diplomats and political leaders such as President Obama. When I wasn’t distracted by the beautiful architecture and décor of the building, I was listening to more speeches and attending ‘breakout’ sessions with some of the colloquium speakers – these are half an hour time slots where we got to interact in small groups with each speaker to ask questions and get advice in how to succeed in their field. Prior to attending the summit, we were asked to read up about each of the speakers and put them in order of preference as we were only able to participate in sessions with four out of the 16 options. First we heard brief talks from. Stephanie Duhaime, Professor Brian Norton, Kris Nelson and Dr Thomas Tahko. We were given the advice that we should opt for sessions that are outside of our subject area so I chose those ran by Kris Nelson (Festival Director of the Tiger Fringe Festival in Dublin) and Martine Cuypers who’s topics of expertise are Greek epics and literature and public speaking. In addition to this she was the chairperson of the Transgender Equality Network Ireland. Although these were vastly different topic areas, both completely unrelated to Nursing, I felt like I was able to take something away from each of them.

the-ballroom-farmleigh-house the-oval-room-farmleigh-house

The afternoon sessions were equally as excellent. The speakers were Dr. Rhona Mahony, Professor Ian Robertson, Kevin Roland and Rob Mather. The two breakout’s I went to were run by Dr. Mahony: an obstetrician and gynaecologist and CEO of the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin and Ruth Casey who is a lecturer in EU Affairs and Communications. Both sessions were extremely interactive. Reproductive health was the topic of my winning submission and a great interest of mine. We had a lengthy discussion surrounding ethics in reproductive medicine focused on the subject of genetically modifying embryos or so called “designer babies”. In the second session with Ruth we had a lively debate on the current political issues – Trump and Brexit. Although politics isn’t an area I know much about I was still able to voice my opinion and add to what had already been said.

That evening was the award ceremony and gala dinner. The ceremony took place in City Hall and the dinner in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The guest of honour at the ceremony was Dr Mae Jemison. If it wasn’t enough that she was a doctor who volunteered at a Cambodian Refugee Camp and with the Peace Corps in West Africa, was an astronaut with NASA and was the first black woman in space. If that’s not an impressive woman I don’t know what is! She delivered a powerful and thought provoking speech encouraging us to try, in whatever way we can, to make a difference in this world.

dr Mae Jamison delivering her speech at the awards ceremony city hall esther

Only one day was left after of the black-tie events of Thursday Night. Friday’s activity was titled ‘UCollaborate’ which took place in Dublin’s Chocolate Factory (the name is misleading, there was no chocolate. Whatsoever). We were randomly allocated into 13 different groups, each one led by a previous winner of highly commended student from previous years. We were given the task to think of a problem in the world and come up with a solution. Having been assigned open ended questions throughout my entire time at university this seemed like an achievable and fun assignment. Although no one in my team had a background in education we decided, as a team, to try and solve the issue of the inequality in access to educations for children on a global level. After going off on several tangents we managed to come up with a strategy and full plan which we had to present in three minutes in the afternoon. It was a brilliant day and so interesting to hear the views of people from other countries.

The final night was the farewell party which was a brilliant night. It took place at the Newquay Co-op. Just like all our other host venues it was a really unique location and during dinner we heard a about the background of the food co-op and how it is trying to make good quality, organic food available to the everyday consumer and how these ingredients can be used to make healthy and wholesome food. The food was followed up by some live music from a traditional Irish folk music and some failed attempts at ceilidh dancing. I have had such an amazing few days in Dublin at the Global Summit and have met some truly extraordinary people: both who have already achieved great things and those that will go on to do so. I feel truly inspired.

I just want to end this post by encouraging everyone to consider entering themselves for the Undergraduate Awards this submission period (2016/17). I applied on a whim and ended up with a regional award, a trip to Dublin and new friends from all over the world.

Esther Cherukra

Nursing Studies Student – Class 2013-2017