Alumni Spotlight

Dr Patrick Cotter - Advanced Nurse Practitioner

25 Sep
Dr Patrick Cotter

Patrick Cotter is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the Emergency Department, Cork University Hospital and lecturer in the Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Nursing at UCC. He has worked and taught in Emergency Nursing since the late 1990’s and was central to the development of the first Advanced Nursing Practice post in the Cork/Kerry region. Patrick talks to us about how his student days at UCC shaped his career.

Course/subjects studied in University College Cork

HDip in Emergency Nursing, BSc Nursing studies, MSc Nursing Studies, Post Grad Cert – Nurse Prescribing of Medicinal Products, Doctor of Nursing degree

Best memory of UCC

There are many great memories including friendships, healthy discussions and debates to put the world of healthcare and nursing to right and shared desperation at exam time. I have shared my academic journey of learning and growth with special and generous groups of students, clinicians, educators, researchers, mentors, experts, patients and overall good people. They have enlightened my journey and my time at UCC has been all the richer for the people that I have met along the way.
However, two memories stand out for me: Walking out following my Doctoral viva voce, what a feeling!! The honour of making a commencement speech at two graduations from the Colleges of Medicine and Health and Science, Engineering and Food Science. That was really special!

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

Apart from the qualifications that I have gained to enable me to practice it has left me with a sense of possibility. It has taught me not to accept the status quo but strive to create new and better realities for those that we care for, work with and teach. My time at UCC has helped me realise that knowledge, learning and development is what makes us grow as individuals, professionals and as a community. What we don’t know we must discover through experience, shared expertise and developing new knowledge and understanding. My time at UCC has helped me realise that perfection in healthcare is a pursuit fuelled by knowledge and experience, not a destination in and of itself. This realisation has sustained me on the more arduous and challenging parts of my nursing journey.

What is your advice to current UCC students?

Exploit and enjoy the opportunities all around you at UCC: academic, social and personal.

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

Professor Geraldine McCarthy. She is quite simply an inspiration and a legend in her own lifetime!

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?

I was a founding member of the Nursing and Midwifery Society, formerly Nursing Society (Nursoc) in 2003 during a brief spell as a lecturer at UCC and was staff rep on the society for my 2 years working at UCC.

Favourite UCC legend or superstition

I, like many, have heard the superstition of crossing the quad before graduation and failing exams. I have never walked across the quad at any stage in my time at UCC so can’t testify to its validity!

Development and Alumni Office

Oifig Forbartha agus Alumni

5 Brighton Villas, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork, Ireland

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