Former Level 3 Health & Social Care student Eden talks about her experience in the Royal Navy training to become a naval nurse student at Birmingham City University.

Previous School: Bodmin College

Course studied: Level 3 Health & Social Care Diploma

Extra Activites: National Citizen Service (NCS) and work experience shadowing healthcare professionals

Progression: Royal Navy Nurse Student - Birmingham City University

How are you finding university and being a Royal Navy nurse student?

It feels great to finally be a naval nurse student, and feels like it was a long time coming with all the complications due to Covid-19.

Raleigh; the training for the Royal Navy which puts recruits through 10 weeks of intense fitness and mental challenges to ensure they are ready for the fleet and the military in general, was the hardest but most amazing thing I’ve done!

The training has been massively different to normal due to covid, but I learnt a lot about myself and managed to cope in harsh conditions and with discipline that I usually would have struggled with. It’s made me change so much as a person and I’ve loved every minute of it!

I applied directly through the Royal Navy and wasn’t given an option of choices of university as they use Birmingham University for all three forces, but when I went to view the university on an open day I loved it, so it definitely would have been a choice if I’d had it!

I had to complete a basic interview to join the navy in general and some psychometric tests, as well as a medical and fitness test (1.5 miles in under 14 minutes, which I did in 12.40). I was then sent away to HMS Sultan in Gosport near Portsmouth for a two day nursing interview board where I had to give a ten minute PowerPoint presentation on a nursing related topic. I had to do a table top maths exercise and a nursing interview and so it’s very competitive with a hard and long process as they only take on around 12 people a year for their nursing, so it’s really hard to get a place!

How did your time at Callywith influence and support your choice of/transition to university?

I want to say thank you to my tutor at Callywith, Sara, for all of her help in getting me here. She helped me a lot with the things I struggled with and getting the grade I needed and I am very grateful! I am also very grateful to all of the Health & Social Care team for all of their teaching help over the two years I spent at Callywith, it’s helped me so much in my career so far and I’d recommend the course to anyone!

How has your Health & Social Care Diploma helped you in your course?

My time at Callywith helped me so much with preparing for my future career as the course in particular covers a lot of things such as policies, procedures and roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals that I needed for working in health care, as well as giving me the opportunity to complete 100 hours of work experience shadowing healthcare professionals such as nurses, which helped me know that this is exactly what I wanted to do! I felt a lot of encouragement and support at Callywith to go for every opportunity I could.