There’s a new nurse in Newquay and she’s celebrating achieving her dream career.
Kirsty Dickens has always wanted to be a nurse as “it’s a profession I admire and a job I knew I would love”.
Personal life experiences have also fueled Kirsty’s passion for nursing.
“I have seen family members in hospital and I have supported a best friend through difficult times when her premature new-born relied on nursing care,” she explained.
“I admired the care and support given during these times. These events clarified my career choice and I wanted to be there for people when they really needed someone and I wanted to have a positive impact on someone’s life.”
Since progressing from studying an Access course at Cornwall College St Austell, Kirsty recently graduated from Plymouth University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Adult nursing. She is now a registered nurse and has started her career.
“I am now a qualified general nurse and am currently working on an emergency ward,” she explained.
“I am four weeks into my first nursing job post and I love it!”
The Access courses at Cornwall College are designed as a stepping stone for adults aged over 19 looking to progress on to higher education but who may be lacking the right qualifications or who are looking to change or develop their career. The nine month course provides students with the skills that they need to study at degree level. There is a skills gap in nursing staff in Cornwall so this provision is extremely important to produce qualified professionals and enhance the local economy.
The Team Lead for Access at Cornwall College, Sally Roberts, explained that nursing “is an extremely rewarding career”.
“Our Access course is designed to arm people with all the right tools, to help them to reach their goal,” she continued.
“Access courses are shaped to deliver all the core skills, competencies and qualifications a person needs to apply to university.
Sally continued: “Kirsty made huge progress on her Access to Health and Social Care course by significantly improving the quality of her academic work throughout the time she spent at Cornwall College St Austell. We pride ourselves in providing independent students that are ready for university and the level of academic work that is required there and it makes our job completely worthwhile to see students such as Kirsty succeed in her ambition to become a nurse. We are so proud of her.”
For Kirsty, who had previously struggled with her maths qualification, the level of support she received from the College staff was exactly what she needed to progress, she explained.
“Through the support of the staff I completed the course, including a maths module, which was my personal challenge! I had attempted my maths GCSE twice and not succeeded. However, I felt the staff on my access course were very supportive and identified my weaknesses. It gave me good insight to where I was going wrong and gave me good foundations for my degree.”
Kirsty added that the course enabled her to “follow my lifelong dream of enrolling onto a degree and becoming a nurse”.
“The support is there, the course is a great degree foundation as it prepares you well for the academics of the course. I want to say a huge thank you to all the Access team at the College; I honestly wouldn’t have got my dream job without them!”
For more information on the Access to HE courses in science, nursing, health and social care, social work and social science available with The Cornwall College Group, please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.