A decision to quit her job as a dental nurse and return to University has led Hannah Scrafton to the frontline of the NHS.

The 22-year-old will begin her new role at City Hospitals Sunderland’s Emergency Department (ED) once she completes her Adult Nursing Programme at the University of Sunderland in the Spring.

Hannah had always wanted to become a nurse, but after completing a Health and Social Care course at college she didn’t feel the time was right to go to university and began working as a dental nurse. Over the next two years she gained as much patient experience as she could, which helped lay the foundations for her next career move.

“When I saw that Sunderland was starting a new nursing programme I leapt at the chance to apply,” explained Hannah, from Sunderland. “It was close to home, many of my friends had been studying there, and I felt ready to go to university, so it was ideal.

“After two years in the dental industry I’d also felt I’d gained enough experience with patients to be confident to train to become a nurse.

“It’s one of the most satisfying jobs, and makes you feel great helping people at their most vulnerable time.”

It was the care for her patients that she believes helped her successfully apply for a position at City Hospitals Sunderland before she has even graduated – one of the first on her course to do so. During the course she spent time on placement within Sunderland’s emergency department and knew that was the place she wanted to be making her mark.

“They were such a great team in ED, I enjoyed how busy it was and learned so much from the staff,” said Hannah. “You never knew what was going to come through the doors, and that’s what made it so interesting. So I’m delighted to now become part of that team when I finish my course.”

Hannah says the University of Sunderland certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to her training.

“There was so much confidence building from the start, and any concerns we had were taken on board and addressed, you felt really looked after. The facilities were so state of the art that they really helped prepare you for the real world. I’d also advise any student nurse about to begin their course to take every placement you can get, it’s just helps make you a more rounded individual.”

Hannah says eventually she’d like to advance her nursing role further and become an emergency care practitioner.

Simone Bedford, Team Leader for BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Practice, said: “Hannah gained some excellent life skills as a dental nurse which have transferred into her nursing programme.  She is caring and compassionate and will be an excellent addition to team in ED.”

Hannah joined Sunderland in April 2016, as one of the first students to join the newly introduced Adult Nursing Practice programme. Completion of the course leads to registration as an adult nurse.

Sue Lane, Matron at the Emergency Department in City Hospital’s Sunderland, said: “We are delighted that Hannah has chosen to start her nursing career in our Emergency Department. Winter is a particularly busy time for us as we see more seriously ill patients come through the door, but we are lucky to have a very dedicated and experienced team and I am sure they will welcome and support Hannah in her new role and future development.”

Already the programme is having an impact after the University’s School of Nursing saw off opposition from across the UK last year to be named Post – registration Education Provider of the Year in the Student Nursing Times Awards. The national awards celebrate the very best in student nurses and nurse education.