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Danielle follows mum’s footsteps

Danielle McConnell from Omagh is continuing the nursing tradition in her family as she graduates today from Queen’s University with a Masters in Professional Nursing.

Danielle’s mum is also a nurse and has been working for over 40 years in the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital in Omagh. She encouraged Danielle to apply to the new two-year Masters course at Queen’s.  

Danielle was working for Alzheimer’s Society when her manager sent her the information on the Masters course at Queen’s and with her mum and her manager encouraging her, she applied for the programme and has never looked back. 

Danielle said: “I haven’t looked back and I really can’t believe I’ve completed two years at Queen’s and I’m now a registered nurse.  

“Working with other disciplines has been a real highlight. In March of this year, myself, and a team of two medical students, a social work student and a pharmacy student won the All-Ireland Inter-Professional Healthcare Challenge. We had to work together as a team to produce a person-centered care plan for Mary, a complex case study. It was the first time Queen’s had taken part in the competition, so it was an honour to have not only represented the School of Nursing and Midwifery but also to have won.”  

Danielle suffers from endometriosis, which was an extra challenge for her when studying, particularly when she was on placement.  

Endometriosis is a chronic condition, which can be managed but cannot be cured, and its symptoms can be debilitating.  

Danielle said: “All of my lecturers at Queen’s were very supportive of my issue and ensured I had a reasonable adjustment plan in place for when I was on placements, and this meant so much and took away the added stress.” 

Throughout her two years at Queen’s, Danielle made many strong friendships, she said: “Throughout my course I have made friends for life. Being a student nurse during the pandemic was definitely a bonding experience. I’ve met some amazing friends along the way, and I couldn’t have done the course without them. You share the good times and the bad and these friendships are what get you through in the end.” 

Danielle started her first post in Medical Admissions in the Mater Hospital at the beginning of October.