Olubukola Akinmolayan is an upper G I clinical nurse specialist with the Northumbria NHS trust England.  She’s also the founder of Overseas Nurses Solutions ( ONS ). In this exclusive interview with Fellow Nurses Africa (FNA),  She shared her experiences so far in the NHS, the struggles and how international nurses could find their feet. Take seat, grab your coffee and enjoy…

 

Olubukola Akinmolayan

FNA: Good afternoon Ma, Can we meet you?

Olubukola: Good morning, my name is Olubukola Akinmolayan Ogundele. I am a registered nurse, a wife and mother of two beautiful children. I live and work in the North East of England, UK.

I am the founder of Overseas Nurses Solutions (ONS) which is the umbrella over my YouTube channel & TikTok page where I support nurses with information and guidance to settle in the UK as you’ll find a few people find this daunting. I’ve done a range of videos from how to buy a house in the UK, building your credit score, career progression in Nursing, Nursing revalidation, how to write a good CV, side hustle ideas for nurses and of course fun travel videos. ONS also support people with sending funds to their loved ones back home and so many more to be unveiled with time. Also I am a co founder of the Nigerian Nurses in UK Facebook group.

 

 

FNA: Wow, this is incredible. It’s nice meeting you and nice seeing the face behind Olubukola TV this evening. A lot has been said about you and your organisation, could you tell us the story behind it?

 

Olubukola; I am someone who naturally like to make every contact count everywhere I go and make a positive difference. I suppose an average person likes to make a difference too to be fair, but for me, the passion to help drives me beyond. I will not be bluffing if I say I am selfless, and when if I have found a path or know someone who has I like to throw the ladder down for others to know and make their way up too. I believe I brought nothing into this world and I will take nothing out of it.

My thought when I put content out there is ‘this will live on when God says it is time to come home’. I believe when you have a skill, you need to harness it greatly. For instance, I know I’ve got good communication skills, for that reason, I daily take advantage of this when conveying helpful information out and lending my voice to a difference. One of my mantra is, leave your life to the fullest and die empty. So I want to live my life to the fullest in every sense of it and die empty, and this includes making a positive impact to others.

FNA: Live your life to the fullest, that got me. Anybody seeing your video will definitely know that you’ve got a good communication skill and thank you very much for using it to the advantage of nursing. Do you want to tell us what actually inspired your decision to come into the UK.?

 

Olubukola: Well, I’m someone who love education, so when I finished nursing school, I wanted to to further but education system in Nigeria was getting so long process so I thought okay, how about I go out of the country, thanks to my mum, she supported me because I know if I’m able to go out of the country I’ll be able to better my life, and even more importantly better the life of my children so that’s the inspiration.

 

FNA: Wow, so you actually came to the UK, to study?

 

Olubukola: That’s correct.

 

FNA: Right, now in the UK working as a nurse, what is the biggest challenge, of working as a UKRN together with running a side hustle like yours?

 

Olubukola: I’d like to say that the number one challenge is time, time is money here and it is not your friend. Number two challenge, I have is the lifestyle, the system, I mean the UK system can be a bit challenging, you know, you don’t have support for things like childcare, you can not leave the children with some aunty tailor and and quickly step out, laughs. So generally, the UK system and what it allows, what it doesn’t allow I find a bit of a challenge. To be completely honest with you hasn’t been easy.

Like I said earlier anything I say here is not to boast, it is just my natural traits, but I also know I’m a people’s person so I haven’t had problems with working as a nurse, here in the UK. Of course we have challenges that come up no matter how good you are as a person, you still find one or two persons that wont just agree with you no matter what you do, it’s a bit of a setback for for me sometimes, but I find a way around it.

 

FNA: Okay, so if you have the opportunity now would you quit nursing?

 

Olubukola: That’s a very good question but I cant quit nursing completely, I could reduce my hours just so I can chase other dreams and aspirations I fancy but I do not see myself completely quitting the profession.

FNA: Absolutely, thank you for that. So, at this point, do you mind to tell us what exactly is your background?

 

Olubukola: Okay, my name is Olubukola Elizabeth Akinmolayan Ogundele, my middle name Elizabeth is the reason I get Liz at work. I left Akinmolayan in because I know some friends may want to find me on social media, and they will know I’ve changed my name to Ogundele (Marital name). I was born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria, but my dad is from Ondo town. Dad passed away 18 years ago so I was raised by my mom, a single mom. I have 2 siblings. Educational background, I went to through quite a number of primary schools because of family relocation. Secondary school was African church Model College (ACMC) Ifako Lagos then School of Nursing UCH, Ibadan where I did my three year diploma course. I migrated to the UK to get my degree in nursing in 2015.

At the moment I work as an Upper GI clinical nurse specialist with the Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust. We work together GPs and of course the Trust in the early detection and treatment of oesoghageal, gastric, HPB, liver and other upper GI cancers. I have background experience in trauma & orthopedics as well as GI medicine.

 

 

“About £10,000 is budgeted for every UKRN annually from Health Education England (HEE) for your Continuous Professional Development  courses and trainings”

 

FNA: Do you want to tell us about career prospects and opportunities for nurses in the UK, you know, there are a lot of nurses reading this interview and would like to know?

 

Olubukola: Right, if as a nurse you ever come into the UK, I would say, it doesn’t matter where you start because often times we just apply for random jobs, just as a way to leave nigeria and come in first but when you come in please check within the first three to six months, where you are, is that where you want to be with regards to career progression? What I mean for instance is, many people start in elderly care and find it’s not for them. What you can do is apply to other wards or speciality of your choice.

When you get there, begin to ask about training and development, career progression in that speciality. I’d say to every international nurse that please refuse to be your manager enemy, you don’t have to be friends please but do not be their enemy. Remember no manager likes to be looked down upon. Make her feel like the true boss if that is what she want. Be humble and respectful, remember you have a  mission and it is to be able to grow in your career path which at some point or the other the manager may be instrumental in making happen.

Now when it comes to trainings, there is a fund available at least about 10,000 pounds for every nurse annually from Health Education England (HEE). This is what your Trust use to pay for courses, training and the e-learning you do online. So, as long as the training you’re asking your manager to fund for you brings about progress and best practice to patient care and of course career developments there should be no reason your manager should say no, which is why I said, let it be a unit where you fancy growth. If they say no, listen attentively to their reason and if it’s not tenable please move on, you can leave the trust to another Trust advertising the role you want with funding for those interested to upskill. Etc

FNA: Thank you very much, sometimes ago on twitter, there was this guy who was advising people coming to the UK to try as much as possible to get married before coming to the UK, what’s your opinion about this?

 

Olubukola: It’s a yes and know and this is why. I think the post may be right for single people that are in the UK. If they want to be completely honest with you, they will tell you that it’s not very easy finding  someone in the UK, because some of these guys have someone they want to marry back home, same with the ladies as well sometimes.

Some might also be the breadwinners in their family, they have come to the UK to hustle so for that reason marriage may not be in their head at that moment which further lengthens the scarcity list. Secondly, a few guys share this misconception that ladies in the UK are wayward and not humble because they earn enough to own their own. That’s why I said I’ve got mixed feelings about that twitter post. We’ll, because it may be hard for a few people does not mean it’s impossible.

 

FNA: All right. As a very busy person that you are, how do you find time to relax and unwind?

 

Olubukola: It’s a bit rough, where sometimes I know oh my God I’m stressed. The good things is I always know it’s time to unwind. What I do is I shut down, I go offline, I do not respond to chats and all of that. To unwind, I could go on holidays, staycation. Also thank God I have a very supportive husband, he supports me when he knows I’m hitting that plateau. He holds the house and business and I reciprocate the same for him too.

 

FNA: In the next five years, where do you see yourself?

 

Olubukola: At the moment, like I said, I work as a specialist nurse, in the next 5 years I see myself as the lead Cancer nurse or anything synonymous to that in my Trust if not the Northeast, Also I see an empire we’ve built with the business by God’s grace. I don’t want to work all my life. I would love to live life on my own terms, so growth for the business will help in achieving this.

 

FNA: Incredible, that brings us to the end of the interview session today . Thanks for honouring our invitation

 

 

Olubukola: Thanks for having me.