Emma beats adversity to win nursing degree first
A nursing student and single mum of two, has defied the odds to achieve a first as a Bachelor of Nursing (Hons) at the University of Manchester.
Emma Ridpath, from Warrington, was also part of the nursing team who looked after victims of the Manchester Arena bombing at Royal Manchester children’s hospital intensive care unit.
She was based at the unit during the final part of her training when the tragedy happened.
Even the loss of her beloved grandfather William, just before she started her final year’s studies, did not stand in the way of her success.
Her success has been a family affair: daughter Courtney, 11, son Nathan, 9 and mum Pam have all been doing their upmost to support her.
She said: “There have been a lot of setbacks along the way, but with the help of my two wonderful children I managed to achieve a first class honours.
“It’s given me a chance to pursue my life-long dream of being a nurse. I’ve always wanted to be able to care for people.
“I’ll never forget the amazing patients and relatives who came into the unit on that terrible day in May. I could hardly believe it was happening – but the bravery and dignity of those people was a very powerful experience.”
As soon as Emma finished her studies she was snapped up by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, intensive care unit, where she has been working since September.
Her studies, she says were tough but ultimately gave her the skills she needed to find her dream job.
The course gave me an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology - which is very helpful for anyone who wants to work in intensive care. I made some wonderful friends on the course. And without my wonderful academic advisor I don’t know what I would have done.
She is also hoping to publish her dissertation on the experience of nurses and their families of bereavement in an intensive care unit.
She added: “The course gave me an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology - which is very helpful for anyone who wants to work in intensive care.
“I made some wonderful friends on the course. And without my wonderful academic advisor I don’t know what I would have done. Diane was always there for me.
“Dianne and the staff went above and beyond their duty in the help they provided for me.
Dianne Burns who is a senior lecturer in nursing said: “As Emma’s academic advisor during her studies, I have seen her work exceedingly hard to develop her academic and clinical skills whilst overcoming much personal adversity.
Even during those hard times her commitment to her learning journey was clearly evident in everything she did, always submitting a high standard of academic work.
As a future Children’s nurse, Emma’s passion and dedication to the patient’s in her care was also clear to see, especially in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack when Emma was involved in providing nursing care to some of the unfortunate victims.
“I think I speak for all of us here in the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work when I say that she is truly an inspirational student of whom we are very proud.”