Family and study: an average day

Caroline Buttress

Faculty: Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Category: Nursing and midwifery

9 March 2018

Ok let’s not pretend, in an ideal world I would’ve left college back in 2001 and begun my nurse training there and then. Let’s face it, it would have been far less complicated.

Instead, at the ripe old age of 19, I decided to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a singer/dancer/actress. Yes, I took myself off to East London University to become a West End star!?

microphone for performing arts

You may be surprised to know that there is very little demand for budding actresses here in rural Lincolnshire, so unfortunately I have yet to get my big break. But the theatre stage's loss is the nursing profession's gain.

So here I am: a 35-year-old, married mother of four, starting academically from scratch. It has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, but I wouldn't change a thing.

When I tell people that I'm training to be a nurse they often ask 'Studying with a family, how do you cope?' This was also a question I put to myself for a long time before I decided to take the plunge. The honest answer is that some days are easier than others, but preparation and planning go a long way.

So how do I cope and what constitutes an average day at Uni?

6am: wake up to pre-set alarm and get myself dressed and ready before waking the children (also a nice time of day for a bit of peace and quiet before the chaos begins!)

cup of tea

6.30am: wake the family, settle arguments between tired siblings, point out to four-year-old son that his toothbrush has to actually make contact with his teeth and generally pester everyone into their school uniforms.

7.30am: leave the house armed with children's pre-made breakfasts, ready for breakfast club at school.

caroline's children going to school

7.45am: drop children at breakfast club and drive to Peterborough.

8.10am: arrive at Waitrose Peterborough for my free and much-needed coffee! Continue drive to Uni.

8.15am: head to the breakout area, log onto a computer, check emails, tie up any loose ends that I can't do from home and drink my coffee (very important).

9am: lectures in the skills lab begin; today is airway management.

airway management mannequin

11.10am: coffee break and catch up with friends.

11.15am: back to work.

airway management equipment

1pm: lunch break.

2pm: back to work again.

4pm: finish Uni for the day. Drive back to school to collect the little troops.

5pm: home again. Children do homework, whilst I make dinner, then bath and bed (for the children, not me).

7pm: take half an hour reviewing University topics of the day and researching areas that I struggled to follow or understand during lectures.

Acute Care Adult nursing book

It all sounds pretty straightforward, but every day comes with its own hiccups. Adapting to those hiccups is the trickiest bit, but life would be pretty dull if everything went to plan.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.