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Craig Davidson, HNC Care and Administrative Practice

Craig Davidson, 34 from Anniesland, was recently named ‘Student Nurse of the Year: Adult’ at the Student Nursing Times Awards 2019, three years after graduating from Glasgow Clyde College.

Having spent 12 years working in musical theatre, Craig swapped the stage for the classroom in 2016, when he enrolled onto the College’s HNC Care and Administrative Practice course.

Growing up in Yorkhill, Craig’s desire to study healthcare started at a very young age. He said: “My mum worked as a nurse in Yorkhill hospital which is where my interest in caring for others originated. Nursing is something I had always seen myself doing.”

Craig was deemed to have been out of education too long to enter university when he returned to Glasgow in 2015. He added: “I had been volunteering as a nursing assistant at a local charity but I had no previous healthcare education. Thankfully, Glasgow Clyde College provided the answer.”

Craig completed his HNC at Glasgow Clyde College and took advantage of the articulation links to progress directly to 2nd year at Glasgow Caledonian University and is now preparing to enter his honours year in Nursing Studies this September, with the aim of eventually completing a Masters.

Craig originally interviewed for the College’s Access to Nursing course but was encouraged to apply for the HNC which provided a direct route to university. At the advice of programme leaders, he accepted an offer to study Care and Administrative Practice at the nearby Anniesland campus.

“Lecturers felt I may be more suited to the HNC programme as it provided strong articulation links, which have essentially led me to where I am today.”

It was this guidance which set Craig on his path to further education. He added, “The College provided such a supportive environment, which was great as I had been out of education for 14 years. The one-to-one contact we had with lecturers was excellent, they were always happy to answer questions and give advice.

“There were only 24 students in the HNC class, compared to over 400 on the course at university. Studying at Glasgow Clyde College really helped me to prepare for this as we had a good balance of support and responsibility for our own learning.”

Alongside his studies, Craig has undertaken many voluntary roles. As the chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Students’ Committee, he is responsible for the representation of over 40,000 student members across the UK. Over the last year, Craig has also been student editor at the Nursing Times and is the departmental rep of nursing and community health at GCU.

“Glasgow Clyde College definitely helped to instil a strong work ethic in me. It provided the perfect foundation for me to work towards my ambitions, and the encouragement to articulate into university set me on the right path. My HNC practice placement in the vascular unit at The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital essentially became the hub of my studies. I ended up going back in my second year of university and I’ve spent 28 weeks there in total, and just finished my management placement there.

“I was delighted to be given the opportunity to return to Glasgow Clyde College at the end of last year to present a lecture to current HNC students. Course leaders like Rosemary Stewart really pushed me to achieve what I have, and I keep in touch with her and all my lecturers to this day. It was important for me to be able to provide this kind of guidance to HNC students who are following the same footsteps.

“I am looking forward to starting my honours year in September and eventually I hope to go on to complete a masters. My long term goal is to gain experience within urology and uro-oncology and eventually become an advanced practitioner working with prostate cancer patients.”