Spotlight 2017

Geraldine O'Brien - Nursing

29 Aug 2017
Geraldine O'Brien

Geraldine O'Brien was born in Waterford and returned to college as a mature student at the age of 30 to complete the BSc Honours Degree in General Nursing in 2016. Since then she has travelled to Uganda three times as a volunteer nurse and currently works in the renowned Kings College Hospital in London as a staff nurse on a surgical ward that specializes in colorectal, urology and bariatric surgery. 


Geraldine travels with the Irish NGO Nurture Africa who have a medical Centre in Nansana, Uganda, providing primary healthcare to vulnerable children at risk of malnutrition and poverty. Along with medications, counselling and checkups provided to adults and children with HIV, the Centre also provides antenatal care to HIV positive women to reduce the risk of mother to child transmission through education and healthcare. Geraldine looks back on her time in UCC where she has gone from learning patient care in Brookfield Health Sciences Complex to volunteering in Uganda and working in one of the busiest hospitals in the UK.

Course/subjects studied in University College Cork

BSc General Nursing.

Best memory of UCC

The one day that will always stand out is that of graduation. As a mature student nothing gives you more pride than hearing your name being called out and receiving your scroll.

How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?

I'm very lucky to work in Kings College Hospital in Denmark Hill, London and I know having trained in UCC helped with that. Attending one of the top universities in Ireland and indeed Europe will always stand to me and the training has also given me the confidence to work as a volunteer nurse in Uganda with Irish NGO Nurture Africa each Summer since 2015.

What is your advice to current UCC students?

Go to all your lectures!!! Enjoy your time in UCC but also make time for friends and making memories. Happiness is the key to everything. I’d recommend volunteering to everyone, men and women from all over Ireland travel and volunteer together, with memories for lifetime. There’s something about Africa that gets into your soul.

What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?

There's a few lecturers whose advise will always stay with me, both professionally and personally. I was very lucky to have fantastic nursing lecturers.

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?

I've always loved traditional music so I always tried to make it to lunchtime sessions ran by the TradSoc. During busy times it helped me relax and de-stress.

Favourite UCC legend or superstition

I suppose if I'm to pick one it'd have to be walking on the crest got you pregnant. Although I did do a little dance on it the day of my graduation last October! Still child free

Alumni and Development

Alumni agus Forbartha

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