A STUDENT nurse will return from maternity leave early to join more than 40 fellow students to work at the Golden Jubilee Hospital.

Gertrude Munyambonera, a third-year nursing student from Glasgow Caledonian University, is one of 25 final year and 17 second year student nurses who will support patients with advanced heart failure and congenital heart conditions.

The 39-year-old expressed her willingness to return to her studies – despite the option to remain at home with her six-month-old baby – to alleviate the pressure on NHS Scotland due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The mum-of-four said: “I could have stayed on maternity leave and graduated in 2021, but I felt it would be wrong to not use the skills I have to offer.

“I am very happy to play my part; it was the right thing to do. I feel like a valued member of staff and I can say that I have helped make a difference.

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“Caring for high dependency patients means I can help free up another nurse’s time elsewhere.”

NHS Golden Jubilee specialises in treating heart and lung conditions, with patients at the hospital particularly vulnerable to coronavirus due to its tendency to attack the lungs.

Anne Marie Cavanagh, NHS Golden Jubilee director of nursing and allied health professions, said: “As valued members of our team, the students will have the chance to put their learning into practice while being paid for their efforts.

“They will be guided by our expert and experienced nursing team as they complete their qualifications.

“Combating coronavirus requires unprecedented measures and we owe a huge thank you to every one of these students for stepping up to help the NHS at this challenging time.”

NHS Golden Jubilee has also welcomed returning members of staff who have recently retired.