Robert Gordon University

Peterhead Academy pupils Christina Heddle (left) and Morven McGregor with a volunteer patient at the recent Nursing Summer School at RGU.
Peterhead Academy pupils Christina Heddle (left) and Morven McGregor with a volunteer patient at the recent Nursing Summer School at RGU.

Young people aspiring to a career in nursing have been given the opportunity to experience life on the wards through a series of unique taster sessions in Aberdeen.

More than 30 pupils from secondary schools across the country have attended a week-long Nursing Summer School at Robert Gordon University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.

The programme, open to 16 to 18 year-olds, is a free educational experience to help interested pupils make more informed decisions about whether nursing is the right career choice for them.

Pupils from secondary schools around the north-east attended the Summer School which is being held for the fifth year over the holidays.

Margo Learmonth, lecturer at RGU’s school of nursing and midwifery, co-ordinates the Summer School and taster days with university colleagues, in collaboration with NHS Grampian.

She said: “The sessions are designed to empower young people with the knowledge and experience to help them make informed choices about their future careers.

“It is vital to give a fully-rounded view of the nursing profession in all its forms along with its challenges and huge rewards.

“At the Summer School we showcase a wide variety of nursing roles, including adult, children and young people, and mental health nursing so the young people can see what the demands of each role involve.”

During the week participants learned and practised core nursing skills, gained an insight into student life and observed nursing work within real clinical settings.

This included visits to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Woodend Hospital, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and Royal Cornhill Hospital.

A popular element of the programme saw participants gain hands-on experience when they put their new skills to the test with members of the public who acted as volunteer patients by undertaking simulated nursing practice.

Held within the university’s Clinical Skills Centre, the session provided an excellent opportunity for participants to step into the shoes of a nurse and deal with a number of patients with various injuries and ailments.

Ian Murray, head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon University, said: “We’ve had a fantastic turnout this week and it’s encouraging to see so many young people interested in a career in nursing.

“The Nursing Summer School is one way of investing in young people who have the potential to become the health professionals of the future.”

RGU is now recruiting for next year’s free Summer School and taster programmes. For more information, please contact Margo Learmonth on (01224) 262635 or email