This Sunday marks the annual International Nurses Day and the theme of this year’s awareness day is ‘Nurses: A voice to lead. Health for all.’ One voice the Press Office heard recently was Alexis Brandful’s, who explained why she switched her career from finance to healthcare.
When working in the high-flying world of finance made one student feel professionally grounded, she did an about-turn and switched to a new career – in nursing.
Alexis Brandful originally graduated with a degree in Economics and Law from the University of Northampton in 2012 and spent several years working for various banks.
Alexis’s career flourished until her final post as a Customer Care Consultant but, despite professional success, she felt there was something lacking: “I’ve always felt drawn to jobs that involve caring for people, so naturally I worked in direct customer service roles in banking that allowed me to help and support customers in various ways.
“But with banking, the care you provide is limited and the type of care I was giving didn’t feel right. I was doing something that just wasn’t me.
“For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to study medicine but hadn’t realised how competitive it is getting into medical school. I took my eye off the ball and it didn’t happen, but my first degree did allow me the chance to study two other things I was interested in.
“At the University, I saw nursing students in uniform going to their lectures and they always made me think if I was on the right course. Years after graduating, I was at the hospital one day and saw the nurses dashing about and that was it. I had my ‘light bulb moment’ – I knew I had to join them. So I started looking at the courses on the University’s website.”
Alexis applied to study Adult Nursing but, due to the popularity of the course, there were no places initially available. She explains: “The cohort I applied to join was full so I had to wait a bit until spaces became available. Although that was tough, I knew it would be worth the wait – and here I am!
“I felt so free when I started the course as I was finally doing something that I would enjoy, something that complements who I am as a person, my morals and values and what I believe in”.
Moving into a completely different profession proved to be less daunting than Alexis originally thought: “I believe everybody has a purpose in life – I’m very big on that! I’d say to anyone that if they have a calling to do something else, then go for it. You will never feel completely fulfilled if you are not in the right career. Just studying to become a nurse is already making me feel more fulfilled.”
Dreams of medicine are distant but fond memories because Alexis feels nursing has more to offer than she originally thought: “I’ve come to realise that the nursing world is so varied, with opportunities for relief work overseas, post-graduate courses, teaching the next generation of nurses – there is so much to explore, it might keep me occupied for the rest of my life!”
Do you want to join Alexis? See the University’s website for more about the nursing courses here.