Jesse Boxall-Steeden graduated with a BSc Adult Nursing. While studying, Jesse represented our University at an international healthcare conference in Belgium, was a member of the Education and Student Experience Committee (CCSU), and a student ambassador. He now works at a Kent hospital in a High Dependency Unit.
I never knew what I wanted to do at school. My mum and aunt both work in the NHS and it was always in the back of my mind that one day I might go into nursing, but I was never the most academic person.
At college I did a Health and Social Care course, and I really enjoyed it, but I didn’t get the grades to go straight into a nursing degree.
I started working as a Healthcare Assistant and completed an access course, giving me the experience I needed to begin a BSc in Adult Nursing.
Canterbury Christ Church University offered me so much support during my studies – the staff helped me learn how to focus and to push myself, and if I ever had any ideas or questions they were always more than happy to make time for me.
The community at Medway was small and close knit that it never felt like there was any hierarchy between staff and students, and being able to mix with people studying other health courses helped you feel like you weren’t on your own.
I had a bad few months during my studies, but staff were so quick to notice that I didn’t even have to ask for help, they just offered it. Without this support, I honestly don’t think I would have finished that year.
During my degree we had the opportunity to take part in an international university exchange with a college in Iowa, in the United States, where we were shown different health facilities, from a free clinic run entirely by volunteers, to a children’s hospital, to an air response unit – a vital health service due to the rural, isolated nature of the state.
I then went on to present about my experiences at an international healthcare conference in Belgium, and was able to engage with healthcare professionals from all over the world, with all kinds of different backgrounds.
This was an incredibly enriching experience, and now as a newly qualified nurse I’ve been able to take on a challenging role in critical care.
Studying has given me a new lease of life. I feel that the opportunities are endless and it’s helped mould me into the person I wanted to be.
If you have a passion for something and higher education will help you get there, just go for it. It doesn’t matter how academic you are, the support is there to help you achieve.