Elena achieves children’s nursing ambition through UCLan
A Morecambe student who was inspired to become a nurse following family heartbreak has achieved her dream through the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Overton resident Elena Higginson graduated from UCLan this week with a degree in children’s nursing. The 21-year-old, who now works at Royal Preston Hospital, had always wanted to work with children but it was when her 10-year-old cousin was tragically killed in a road traffic accident in 2009 that she decided the way to do this was through nursing.
Elena said: “It was a really horrible time for the family. I suddenly saw healthcare from a different point of view and really valued the way the hospital looked after us. I wanted to give something back and knew this was how I wanted to do it and work with children at the same time.”
"I suddenly saw healthcare from a different point of view and really valued the way the hospital looked after us. I wanted to give something back and knew this was how I wanted to do it and work with children at the same time."
Although the former Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy pupil was only 18 when she decided to become a nurse, Elena has used the last three years to gain as much experience as possible including spending four weeks working and fundraising in Tanzania during her studies.
“I worked in a maternity and a children’s hospital during my visit and it was such an eye opener” she said. “I came back really knowing the value of compassionate care and appreciating what a brilliant job the NHS does. The whole experience taught me that sometimes it’s the small reassuring acts that can really make a difference to a person’s time in hospital.”
Elena, who also worked at the new Alder Hey Hospital on placement during her studies, has been at Royal Preston since September.
She added: “I’m learning all the time and getting used to the level of responsibility I have. I work with a brilliant and supportive team and being able to see children who come onto the ward feeling very poorly then leave in much better health makes every day worthwhile. It’s a privilege to be part of that journey with the children and their families.”