Neil Johnstone

I qualified as an adult nurse in 2007 and currently work as an Emergency Care Practitioner at Malton Minor Injuries and York Hospital Urgent Care.

After qualifying, I spent a year on a medical ward and then got a position within a Minor Injury Unit. During this time I had the opportunity to study SSPRD modules and so undertook the Mentorship course. Undertaking this module was great, it gave me an introduction to SSPRD and what is available.

Building on the enjoyable experience of my first module, I went on to study several more including the Minor Injuries and Minor Illness modules and the Management of Diabetes Mellitus module. Undertaking this study put me in a strong position to move from Band 5 to Band 6, increased my confidence and enabled me to update my knowledge and build upon what I had learnt in nurse training. I’m currently studying Non-Medical Prescribing to allow me to transfer my skills across a wide range of areas.

Studying SSPRD is relevant in many ways, learning after qualification is more focused and with the modules that are available you can pick and choose specific areas of study which are relevant to your work. It also helps to improve your patient care, as you are up to date with current evidence-based practice - and things are always changing.

I now have enough credits, with the exception of the dissertation, to convert to a degree. I feel in a much better position to tackle the dissertation now than I would have done in my final year of nurse training – I am more experienced and have learnt to be more reflective.

My advice to current diploma students is to work on a ward for a year and then undertake the mentorship module as an introduction to SSPRD. I work full-time and have three children so if I can do it, anyone can. The trick is to keep on top of things and be organised and if you do then you really can manage the study.