Image of the new STEM building

05 March 2021

Nursing Students give their first impressions of Christ Church’s new STEM building

Third-year Adult Nursing students Kirsty Dickerson and Holly Williams share their thoughts on the new £65m STEM building on the Canterbury Campus, and offer a glimpse into what it's like to be a student nurse at Christ Church and their plans after graduating.  

Kirsty Dickerson

Kirsty Dickerson in her Christ Church nursing uniform Kirsty Dickerson

New teaching spaces 

I felt overwhelmed coming into the new building and really like the fact the building is so big. For me, having a huge open space is fantastic for learning and finishing my degree.

These new facilities are so much better than what we’ve had over the last few years. The simulation aspect of the programme is so important, because without it you could have a first degree in nursing and still not have a clue what to do with a patient. The only way of getting those clinical skills is by coming to an environment like this.  

I feel privileged to be able to come into University given the current circumstances - there are so many other students that aren’t allowed because of the nature of their course and the pandemic, so the fact that we’re allowed to come in and we’ve got this brand-new building is brilliant. 

Plans for the future 

I’ve already got a job as a community nurse. They have offered me a district nursing course. I’m a mature student and I have two kids so this fits in well with my routine. The plan is to go as far as I can, because if you put your mind to it you can do anything.   

The best thing about being a nurse 

For me it is the best thing about being a nurse is helping people. In particular, being a community nurse – sometimes you’re the only person the patient is going to see, because for example their family could live miles away. It is a really rewarding role, it gives me goosebumps!  

Nursing during a pandemic 

Hospitals have had to limit patient contact with relatives which is very hard. But in community nursing we are going into people’s houses and the difficulty can be when the family is all around. The majority of people do realise and try to they step aside and create social distance, but it’s still so nice to see them all coming together.  

For me, the pandemic made me want to be a nurse more. Until Covid, I don’t think people necessarily understood what nurses do, or how important healthcare staff are.  

We need people that are passionate about being nurses. You don’t go into it for the money, you go into it because you are kind and you’re caring, you’re empathetic, you’re passionate and you love being a nurse. 

Holly Williams  in her scrubs on placementHolly Williams

Holly Williams

New teaching spaces 

I like the fact the building is so spread out, especially with Covid. It’s bright and light and the furniture is lovely, and there’s lots of spaces to do work as well. I love that everything is new.  

It is great we can use the simulation suites as well – being able to be shown in this way and learn by doing it is absolutely fantastic.   

Passion for community nursing 

I want to go into community nursing, so I’m looking forward to getting out into the community.  

To be able to be there for end-of-life care is such an incredible thing. Bringing the family together and being there to comfort them - it’s quite nice to be able to alleviate their worries and make it a more comfortable environment for both the patient and family.   

Nursing during a pandemic 

These difficult times have helped build resilience, especially with everyone going out and clapping for the NHS and carers, and appreciating the work nurses do. 

Working together

Alison Griffiths, Lecturer in Adult Nursing has been working in the simulation suite over the past few weeks in the new building, reflected on her teaching experience.

“Seeing the students and how excited they’ve been to use these new facilities has been wonderful,” she said.

“Watching the students working collaboratively has been fantastic too. However, the simulation sessions would not have run so smoothly without the support from our fantastic simulation technicians on both the Medway and Canterbury sites. They’ve been integral to making a good learning experience for all the students who attend the simulation sessions.”

For more information on our new STEM building go to

Related courses

Adult Nursing 

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Last edited: 15/01/2020 11:19:00