13/07/2021

University nursing students celebrate special 'Alternative Graduation'

Students from the University of Bolton’s School of Nursing collected their degrees in person at an innovative Covid-secure ‘Alternative Graduation’.

Many of those who arrived on campus on Monday (July 12) to celebrate have worked throughout the pandemic.

Proud Lorraine Holt collected her BSc (Hons) in Adult Nursing and said she was “really pleased” she had been able to attend a ceremony, dress in her graduation gown and have her photograph taken.

Lorraine, aged 41, from Chorley, should have graduated last year, but the annual ceremony was postponed because of the pandemic. She has juggled working and bringing up children while studying.

She said: “It is lovely to see everyone again and I am really proud. I loved my time at the University and am so pleased that they have arranged this to recognise what we have achieved.

“I now work in A & E and absolutely love my job. It has been very challenging during the pandemic, and the pressure has been even more intense than ever, but we have all pulled together and got on with it.”

All graduands had to show proof of a negative Covid test on arrival at the campus. They were registered, dressed in their robes, and then processed to the main lecture theatre where they were presented with their degree in front of a small, socially distanced audience.

Degrees being presented on Monday included Adult Nursing, District Nursing and Nursing Associate.

A documentary film crew shot their every move, for a special ‘Alternative Graduation’ film which is being directed by BAFTA nominee and former artistic director of the Octagon Theatre, Professor of Theatre at the University, David Thacker.

The final movie will receive a world premiere and be a permanent memento for students and their families later in the summer.

Another student, Danielle Louise Walton-Gore, aged 25, from Hindley Green, who works in private nursing specialising in brain injuries, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the day.

“It has been a tough few months. A lot of people have lost their jobs during the pandemic, and I feel for them. At least I have a job and have been busy.”

The special ceremonies will run until Friday, July 16. Students are invited to individually attend the Covid-secure campus at a specific, allotted, time slot.

Students and staff are required to show on arrival proof of a negative lateral flow test, no more than 48 hours old.

Other measures, including airport-style temperature scanners at entrances, wearing face coverings and practising social distancing, are also in place to keep students safe.

The process has been organised to operate in a similar way to a Covid-19 vaccination appointment. Students are encouraged not to be on campus for any longer than necessary.

The University is one of the only ones in the UK to have invited graduands from this year and last to be presented with their degrees in person and their gowns, giving them the chance to have official photographs of their special day.

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