Class of 2023: Louise Simons

We’re so proud of our Class of 2023. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. And they’ve done all of this during a pandemic when life – and student life – changed beyond recognition. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.

  • Date

    Tue 4 Jul 23

Louise Simons

Louise Simons is rightly proud of her academic achievements, graduating this year as an adult nurse on the Nursing Degree Apprenticeship programme.

As a single mother she had to juggle the demands of working, studying and parenthood all at the same time. But her commitment to the programme was exceptional throughout.

Through her hard work and dedication she was organised with her studies and her lecturers have praised the way she always conducted herself with professionalism, whilst producing a very high standard of academic work throughout her studies.

She was inspired to take part in the course due to her colleagues where she worked as a health care assistant in childhood immunisations for Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT).

“I have had the privilege to work alongside inspirational nurses and it gave me a really good understanding of the nursing role within my team,” explained Louise. “This inspired me to want to progress to be able to complete the nursing role. I also feel as a registered nurse qualification allows for more opportunities in the future.”

Despite the long hours studying on top of all her other commitments, Louise has no regrets.

“I have learned so much from the experience but the key things I have learned are that I can achieve my dreams with hard work and determination and being organised has been key to my success.”

The biggest challenge Louise faced was being accepted on the course as she did not follow the normal pathway into the degree apprenticeship – she used her midwifery degree and subsequent experience to show she had the skills and knowledge for the course.

“My course included students working towards adult and mental health nursing degrees and every student was working in the NHS whilst also completing the course. This led to a unique sharing of knowledge and experiences and I met some amazing people who I am now proud to call friends,” she added.

Louise is now loving her current job working as a childhood immunisation nurse, based at a Dunmow clinic in Essex and she hopes to continue with this role and further develop her skillset.

Looking back at her time studying at Essex, Louise added: “I found all aspects of the university to be excellent. I love the campus and the student-focused nature of the university. The university was very well organised.

“Lecturers Kath Burke and Sarah Richardson were also both inspirational to me. They were both amazing in their dedication and passion to their fields and to the students they teach and support.”