By Gill Brown, Family Nurse, FNP Buckinghamshire team
We have had a number of clients do incredibly well over the summer exam results season, gaining GCSEs, A Levels and achieving places at university and we really want to celebrate and acknowledge their achievements. Listening to all our clients and building on their strengths is a fundamental part of FNP. This is highlighted below with examples of clients who have had aspirations and the self-efficacy to take their exams and, in doing so, to provide positive role models for their children.
One client who, in 2018, had been excluded from school while pregnant, re-sat this summer, achieved her additional GCSEs and is now back on track and at college. In her own words:
“I’m 17 and became pregnant with my son when I was in year 11 and doing my GCSEs. School had been difficult and I wasn’t going in very often. Life was a bit hard with the problems at school, I was surprised to be pregnant and also had nowhere permanent to live.
“After I became pregnant and started working with my family nurse, I did go back to school and took some GCSEs. After my son was born I went to a college open day with my family nurse to see what was possible. I was able to re take my maths and English GCSE and got Care to Learn and my son went to a nursery.
“This September I have started a health and social care diploma course and want to improve my English GCSE grade at the same time. What I really want to do once I get high enough grades is an accounting course. I wanted to go back to college and education to better my life and my son’s life. I want qualifications to have a better chance of getting a job.
“My family nurse has encouraged me by talking about what I want to do and finding out about things like open days. She believed that I could do it.
“I am proud now that I went back to college and am managing to do this and care for my son.”
Another client who sat her A Levels while at the end of her pregnancy, having finished the course via home study, achieved 3 Bs. Yet another client achieved high grades in her A levels at A*, A and B with a 3 month old baby who she fully breast fed during her studies and gained a place at her first choice university. She said:
"The family nurses have been really encouraging and supportive of me pursuing the career that I want to and reminding me that it's possible. They have all been so helpful at suggesting ways to make it more manageable too.”
Our graduated client volunteer board member who left school at 16 and is now 21 has created such an incredible personal statement based on her volunteering and other work with us. She has been accepted onto a university access course starting this month to be able to study nursing or social work at degree level next year. In her words: “I became a client of FNP when I fell pregnant with my daughter at 16, they [FNP nurses] helped me in lots of ways but especially by setting out personal and career goals, and I’m now in my first year of university. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and feel great to be back in education. You can still be a great mum and follow your own dreams!”
One of the key evidenced outcomes and benefits of FNP to mothers and babies is improved maternal life course development. The above clients are examples of this and we wish them every success for their future.
FNP Team Buckinghamshire has been delivering the programme to first time young parents under 19 and their families since November 2012. Our team comprises seven Family Nurses, a Supervisor and a Quality Support Officer and are based at Wycombe Hospital. We cover the whole county which has a population of 600,000 and constitutes a diverse community.