60 seconds with nursing lecturer Katie Baxter
'Nursing can be hard, but the life skills and satisfaction you get back are priceless,' says nursing lecturer Katie Baxter
Katie Baxter is a lecturer in adult nursing at Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen and the US student nurse exchange coordinator for the university’s school of nursing and midwifery. After graduating from RGU in 2013, she worked in interventional radiology theatres and in a nursing home. Before taking up her current post in 2016, she worked as a community nurse for two years.
What are your main work responsibilities?
I am coordinator of the undergraduate stage 2 skills module and I am responsible for the development and delivery of several undergraduate modules. I also develop and deliver post-graduate continuing professional development (CPD) modules in wound care and interventional radiology and provide resuscitation training to nursing students and those studying social sciences.
How did you get your job?
I loved my job in the community but was directed to the advertisement by a colleague who thought I would be well-suited to the role. I applied and had an interview. I wasn't expecting much, so was excited when I was offered the job. I remain on the community nurse bank to keep my skills up to date.
Who are your clients/patients?
Mainly undergraduate nursing students but also qualified nurses undertaking CPD.
What do you love about your job?
I love interacting with my students, seeing that ‘light-bulb’ moment and being part of their journey towards becoming a fully-fledged nurse.
What do you find most difficult?
I have a lot on my plate so my organisational skills are constantly being put to the test. I relish the challenge but it can sometimes be difficult to give as much time as I would like to my students, especially when marking multiple essays.
What is your top priority at work?
Continuing to enhance the experience of my students.
How have you developed your skills in this role?
Through experience and successfully completing my post-graduate certificate in learning, teaching and assessment (PG Cert LTA). I hope my skills will continue to develop throughout my career.
What has been your most formative experience of your career?
Completing my PG Cert LTA while continuing with my daily work, and applying my skills and knowledge from the course to my practice.
If you hadn’t become a nurse, what would you have done instead?
I would probably have become a teacher or police officer. The life skills and resilience required to be a nurse can also be applied to these roles due to the challenging situations you encounter every day.
What will be your next career move?
Completing my master’s degree. I have one research module and my dissertation left.
What is the best lesson nursing has taught you?
Resilience, tolerance and having confidence in my own abilities. It has also shown me the huge variety of career paths nurses can take – anything is possible.
What career advice would you give your younger self?
Never say never – if an opportunity comes your way, take it and try it. Nursing can be hard given the responsibilities nurses face every day, but the life skills and satisfaction you get back are priceless.