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RGU Graduations: NHS nurse picks up masters degree after battling long Covid and family loss

Nisha Dominic has graduated from RGU with an MSc in Advancing Nursing Practice. Picture by Kath Flannery
Nisha Dominic has graduated from RGU with an MSc in Advancing Nursing Practice. Picture by Kath Flannery

A nurse who battled Covid while writing her dissertation has overcome the odds to complete her master’s degree – 10 years after first signing up for the course.

Nisha Dominic first signed up for an MSc in advancing nursing practice at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen a decade ago.

But she dropped out after struggling with the academic essays, and then returned in 2016 to finish.

However, in that first year, Mrs Dominic was dealt a huge blow when both her father and 29-year-old cousin died suddenly.

Her strength was then re-tested the following year when her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

Determined to see the course through, Mrs Dominic even sat an exam while he was in surgery. But as his condition worsened, she had to take a step back from her studies so she could work to support him.

Thankfully, he recovered enough for her to resume and today watched on proudly via livestream from Nigeria as she picked up her hard-earned degree at the Music Hall in Aberdeen.

Other loved ones also watched on from India, Kuwait and New York.

Nisha Dominic has finally graduated with a hard-earned MSc in Advancing Nursing Practice from RGU. Picture: Kath Flannery

Masters degree always a goal

Mrs Dominic admitted it had been hard going, particularly after she contracted Covid while writing her dissertation.

She said: “I remember my husband was having surgery while I had to take one of my exams it was very hard to deal with.

“But I have never wanted sympathy, I just wanted to get on achieve the master’s degree that I have always wanted.

“Achieving a master’s degree has always been my goal but, when I joined RGU in 2010, I found it hard to develop the academic writing skills I needed.

“In 2016, I took a job as a nurse practitioner and went back to RGU to do my first module.

“I happened to discuss my dream of pursuing a master’s and my fear of writing essays with one of the lecturers, and she looked at me and said: ‘take it as a challenge’.

“So, I decided to follow her advice, did a lot of reading, practised my writing, and look at me now – graduating.”

Everything seemed to be back on track until Covid

Mrs Dominic, who is currently working as an urgent care practitioner for NHS Grampian’s out-of-hours, added: “Everything seemed to be back on track after that, until soon after starting my dissertation, I contracted Covid-19.

“Writing a dissertation wasn’t easy because I was experiencing multiple long-lasting symptoms of the virus, including brain fog.”

With the support of supervisors at the university and her family, she was able to persevere and complete her studies.

Reflecting on her time at RGU, she said: “Not only did my time at RGU improve my writing and analysing skills and enhance my professional network, but it also helped me discover a passion for research. Having completed the course, I now feel I have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue my PhD as soon as I recover.”

To see the full list of graduations click here.

 

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