Christina Finlayson has collected her degree with little Ember

Date posted

25 October 2023


A new mum, who wanted to prove to her baby daughter that she could complete her studies, has celebrated collecting her nursing degree from Edinburgh Napier University.

Christina Finlayson was out on placement during her second year of studying for a BN in Adult Nursing when she discovered she was pregnant.

Fast forward to today and the 33-year-old, from Rosewell in Midlothian, picked up her degree from the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, with one-year-old Ember watching on.

Reflecting on her journey, Christina said: “When you find out you’re pregnant, it's amazing, but then there's that next thought of 'what am I going to do?' I was like 'that's it, that's the end of my career!'Christina Finlayson with her daughter, Ember

"I told my personal development tutor, Emma Trotter, about the situation. She was really helpful and explained everything to me. I was quite surprised that there was so much support in place to help me through pregnancy.

"Looking back, it's definitely an achievement, especially when I was going out to 12-hour shifts with a baby at home.

"It was really hard, but I'm proud and glad that I got through it, because I can say to Ember when she's older: ‘look at what your mum did’.”

Christina began her studies in 2019, meaning she had to adjust to changes brought about by the pandemic, as well as the arrival of Ember.

Since completing her studies, Christina has started working with East Lothian’s Community Treatment and Care Service, providing a range of services to patients across the region.

And she has this advice to anyone who receives similar news while studying: “Don’t worry too much! I was always worrying, thinking what if, what if. But if you just take each day as it comes and do a little bit at a time, it's possible.

"I found that when Ember was napping, I'd get some work done - or when she was at nursery and I wasn't on placement. It was all just about finding that balance.”

Edinburgh Napier’s autumn graduation ceremonies are being held between 24-26 October at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. Once again the nearby Shakespeare’s pub, on Lothian Road, is being renamed The Napier Graduate for the occasion.