A Fife mother whose baby son was hospitalised by a kidney condition said that the nursing staff who cared for him inspired her to enter the profession.
Charlotte Scotland says she has found her calling as she prepares to receive a BSc in Adult Nursing from the University of Dundee on Friday.
The 30-year-old from Burntisland has also been crowned the University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences Student Nurse of the Year after turning her back on six years of working in a law firm to become a healthcare professional.
After watching her son, Oscar, be treated by staff at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital in the early stages of his life, Charlotte said that the decision to swap the solicitors office for doctor’s surgery was an easy one to make.
“Oscar required treatment for his kidneys when he was young,” she said.
“We spent a lot of time in hospital with him and it was heart-breaking to deal with. We felt so helpless, but the staff at the Sick Kids were incredible and made a difficult time a lot easier.
“It was a big step to take. I had two children and I had bills to pay but I knew this was something I wanted to do. I’ve received tremendous support from my husband and my family. I couldn’t have done this without them.”
Undertaking her three-year course at the University’s campus in Kirkcaldy, Charlotte participated in the General Practice Nursing pilot programme, providing her with the expertise required to work as a nurse within local surgeries.
That module has since allowed her to take up a position at a surgery in nearby Crossgates, a role that gives her the one-to-one contact with patients, which she says was a key motivation behind entering the profession.
Charlotte’s dedication and enthusiasm caught the eyes of her lecturers, who nominated her to receive the School’s Student Nurse of the Year accolade, a prize she said came as a “complete surprise”.
With her degree having allowed her to take up her dream job, Charlotte hopes that her experience will inspire others, as well as her own children.
She added, “It was hard having to study at weekends when my husband was entertaining the kids, but I kept telling myself that everything I was doing was to make their lives better. Oscar is now seven and my daughter Holly is 12 and I wanted them to see that you achieve things through hard work.