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From Health Care Support Worker to Staff Nurse

Michaela Olver - headshot


Michaela Olver is a graduate of The Open University in Scotland and a Registered Staff Nurse.

She works at NHS Borders General Hospital in Melrose.

Michaela Olver has fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a nurse, after gaining her Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Adult Nursing with The Open University.

She got her qualification while working as a Health Care Support Worker at Borders General Hospital. Michaela is delighted to have taken up a new post with them, on the same ward, as a Registered Staff Nurse.

“I started in my new role in the Medical Assessment Unit team last month. It was while working in the same team as a Health Care Support Worker that I studied for four years through The Open University to qualify as a Staff Nurse.

Michaela Olver as a child“I've dreamed of being a nurse since I was a kid and I am beaming with pride to have made it to the end of the course.

“It's by far my greatest achievement and I have so many people to thank for helping me get there!

“The opportunity was life changing - I was stuck in a rut before I started, I knew that I wanted to do my training but there was no way I could afford to leave my job and carry on enjoying my independence. I was able to reach my goals whilst still working.

“I genuinely had to pinch myself when I was offered a place on the course! It was almost like someone said "Hey, you know that dream you've always had, here you go".

“The Open University was a fantastic programme. It was really well organised with overwhelmingly supportive tutors all the way through.

“I won't deny that it was a lot of hard work and there were so many occasions when I felt overwhelmed but the very fact that it was undeniably a 'too good to be true' opportunity kept me focussed.

“I got to work alongside a consistent mentor for the four years which really helped me to flourish. We established a close professional relationship and her support has been invaluable.

“On days that I lacked confidence, she was there to help me. Thank you Elspeth!

“50 per cent of my placements were in the Medical Assessment Unit, which set me up well for being a newly-qualified Staff Nurse here.

“I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Unit for allowing me to progress in my career and for the effort that it took for the ward to release me during placement and study time.

“Each and every staff member on the ward led by example and taught me so much. It is so important to recognise diversity within a team and that we can all learn so much from each other.

Michaela Olver“It's great to get to adapt to my new role whilst staying in Ward 6, Medical Admissions. My colleagues have supported me so much over the years and it's great to share this journey with them!

“The whole experience of having to juggle work with study has set me in good stead for my career now.

“I learnt so much about time management and how to take responsibility for my own actions.

“Over the coming year, I'm looking forward to becoming more confident and being able to contribute more.

“I'm learning so much every day and I know that will just continue. It makes me so excited that so many others are getting this opportunity. The hard work is so worth it!

“I am delighted to have reached the end of my training and am very thankful to have had the opportunity to do it through The Open University.

“Being able to earn a wage and keep my house while studying meant I was able to keep my independence and develop my skills at the same time.

“I would highly recommend this route of learning to other staff.”

  • Michaela Olver pictured, above left as a child, and above right working at Borders General Hospital.

A version of this story originally appeared in NHS Borders’ internal staff newsletter.

Michaela’s degree was supported by NHS Borders with funding from the Scottish Government.

Find out more about The OU in Scotland’s work to develop health care professionals here.


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