Shirley Mullings, BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing, alumni

But the opportunity didn't present itself for one reason or another. Life commitments, like having a family, meant it wasn't until after having her final child in 2005, that she decided to begin the process of attaining the qualifications needed to fulfil her ambitions of becoming a nurse.

It was her own experiences in healthcare, seeing the positive impact nurses can have when she was having her children, that convinced her to pursue a career in nursing.

Firstly, Shirley did an access course in health and social science to upgrade her qualifications because they were quite old. As soon as this was completed she applied to LSBU.

Student of the year

Shirley chose to study at LSBU's Southwark campus because of its easy-to-get-to location and good reputation. In particular, she enjoyed learning about anatomy and physiology in depth and the aspect of care. They gave her ample preparation for her placement and subsequent career in nursing. "This course definitely helped with my career opportunities. Being here has been brilliant and there's been lots of support."

Nursing students spend half of their time on the course on placements, allowing them to put the skills they've gained into practice, and understand the day-to-day rigours facing a nurse. Shirley was placed at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS trust, where she was voted their student of the year, and subsequently ended up working for the trust after graduation.

Employed straight away

The employability record for Adult Nursing graduates at LSBU is notoriously strong, and Shirley was no exception. "I got a job straight away. I qualified in July and then by October I was working so I can't complain."

She has been working at Guy's general outpatients since graduating, and seems to have settled into the role quickly. Once she has gained more experience, she will look at further developing her career – with adult nurses having plenty of different career paths to pursue, from specialisation to management. "I'll probably stay here for now; I can't see myself going any further for the next two years or so. Then I'll probably think about moving up a pay band, but I'll be sticking with this trust because I've enjoyed my time here."When asked if she would recommend the course to others, Shirley responded that she already had. Shirley understands the benefits better than most of studying as a mature student. Although it involved a significant life change and learning how to manage the study/life balance, Shirley is now in a fantastic position developing, an exciting career in a field she has always wanted to work in.


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