Meet our Masters students: Hazel McPhillips – MSc Advanced Practice (clinical)


MSc Advanced Practice (clinical) Graduate, Hazel McPhillips, discusses how a Masters degree at Edinburgh Napier University helped her become an expert in Clinical Practice.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Hazel McPhillips I graduated from my Masters in MSc Advanced Clinical Practice and now I am a lecturer and Advanced Nurse Practitioner. I started as a lecturer with Napier in September 2021, I have been working on a casual contract as a PhD student as well as working full time in the NHS.

What were you doing before your Masters?

I graduated in 2009 as a nurse, registered as a nurse and went into general practice before specialising, and then after about four years qualified, I moved across to become a trainee advanced practitioner. That is when I started my postgraduate because it’s a requirement of the job, so I hadn’t really chosen to come and do a postgraduate as such, which is why I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it quite as much as I did.

What was your favourite experience from your Masters?

Learning that everything was appropriate to my work and my practice, everything that was being taught and I was learning, I could take away and go back to work and I could use that. Everything I learnt and my experience crossed over so beautifully that it almost made it easier to learn on shift as I could relate that back to lectures and things we have been taught. A lot of the lecturers themselves had been through that pathway or had worked in advanced practice so really understood what we were going through and were really supportive. They also brought in a lot of guest speakers for us; medical staff, nursing staff, who we knew from clinical practice and we already kind of looked up to, so it was really relevant having people who were on the floor, understanding the job, coming in to speak to us and support us.

What opportunities did a Masters open for you?

It opened up doors to start writing papers and do more research within the workplace. I did a lot more QI audits and research that gave me the opportunity to come in on a casual contract and see if I liked teaching. I am probably about four or five years ahead of where I imagined to be. Edinburgh Napier is really like a community. I went to a university before, and it was not the same feeling. I think had the lectures not been as supportive and we had not had those relationships, they wouldn’t have reached out and said, do you want to try this, and I wouldn’t have had those opportunities.

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