An airline cabin crew member who swapped the skies above Stornoway for the wards of its hospital has graduated with a distinction in Nursing.
Mum-of-one Lynn Clinton is among over 80 graduates of the University of Stirling’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport who received their degrees at the Inverness Cathedral ceremony.
Lynn, from Stornoway, embarked on her three-year BSc Nursing course at the University’s Western Isles Campus on the Isle of Lewis. She had earlier spent a decade in the airline industry, flying from Orkney to Mauritius.
Having left school at 16 with few qualifications, Lynn went to college as a mature student and completed access course Highers in Child Health and Development, and Mental Health, paving the way to enrol on the Stirling degree.
She said: “I had wanted to be a nurse for many years before I plucked up the courage to apply. I have always loved working with the public. I suppose I wanted to do something that was a bit more worthwhile, to feel I was making a difference.
“The University of Stirling has a fantastic reputation for its nursing degree programme, and with the campus here in the Western Isles, it meant I could study locally without having to relocate with my young son.
“All the staff and tutors are very supportive and their doors were always open when I needed guidance, whether for academic or non-academic issues.”
Lynn is delighted to be a prize-winner too, in recognition of her quality improvement project while on placement at the Western Isles Hospital’s Acute Assessment Unit.
She said: “When patients arrive in hospital they can often be in a vulnerable state and effective communication can be weakened. I have found that patients want to be cared for in an environment they can feel safe in and have the knowledge of what is happening to them and the reasons why.”
Michael MacPhee, Teaching Fellow at the Western Isles Campus in Stornoway said: “I am delighted that Lynn is a prize-winner as I know how hard she has worked on the project. Students collaborate with clinical staff in their final placement on an aspect of Quality Improvement in clinical practice, to ultimately benefit patient care.
“Lynn contributed to improving patient care in the acute assessment unit, where patient stays are often of a short duration. However, patients can understandably be particularly anxious and Lynn’s work will help to address this anxiety. I know that Lynn will make an excellent addition to the nursing profession.”
In qualifying today, Lynn follows in the footsteps of her mum Maureen Brown, who graduated from the University of Stirling’s Highland Campus in Mental Health Nursing when she was 40, having raised three children. She now works as a mental health nurse in Glasgow.
Lynn, 38, added: “I would definitely advise anyone not to let the fact they are older put them off. It can help, that life experience you have. I am very much looking forward to starting my nursing career and getting a long awaited blue uniform!”
The graduation ceremony at Inverness Cathedral recognised graduates from Nursing and other disciplines, including from the University’s Schools of Education and Applied Social Science.