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Diane – Access to Nursing and Human Sciences

From pharmaceutical marketing to decorating to studying to become a mental health nurse, mature student Diane Edwards is a shining example that it’s never too late to change your career.

"The lecturers are all brilliant, knowledgeable and so lovely. The additional support is amazing as well"

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Course Studied: Access to Nursing and Human Sciences

Currently Studying: Mental Health Nursing at Plymouth University

My Story:

Having built up a decorating business of her own, Diane decided it was time for a change, wanting to persue a career in Mental Health. Diane first found interest in mental health during a mental health first aid course whilst working as a decorating lecturer at Penwith College. After looking at degrees, Diane began to worry that university might be beyond her reach, until she found out more about Access courses and quickly signed up to Access to Nursing with Truro and Penwith College.

Diane said: “I love decorating and it will always be one of my passions but I just thought to myself ‘I want to do something I can make a difference in’. I’ve had my own mental health issues and it’s now something I’m very passionate about.”

“When I looked at the degrees I just thought how I couldn’t do it without the A Levels. Then I found out about Access courses at Truro and Penwith College. I feel like at this age it’s great as it’s only three days a week so I can work a few days a week.’’

“I actually enrolled on the course the week before it started. I didn’t really think it through, when I heard about the Access course I was just like ‘yes, this is what I want to do’. I initially contacted them about the Health and Social Care course and I came in and spoke to them about what I wanted to do and they said the Access to Nursing pathway would be more suited to the career I want.”

“It was hard doing biology, sociology and psychology but psychology is my passion so I loved getting the background in that. Sociology was completely new to me and with biology I was trying to rack my brain for things I did in my GCSEs. For me it was the light at the end of the tunnel. I know my goal is to be a qualified Mental Health Nurse and there are so many options from that.”

“The lecturers are all brilliant, knowledgeable and so lovely. The additional support is amazing as well. I get money for fuel and £30 a week for things. Even though I don’t need it, there is childcare support as well. For a working single mum, all of this has made the biggest difference. From that point of view, to know they are there to support you, is amazing. Student Services are just lovely, so friendly and helpful. They always offer up advice and information that can help me.”

After completing the Access course, Diane went on to study Mental Health Nursing at Plymouth Univesity and its another step closer to her dream career.

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