06th April 2016 Written by Alexandra Gibson

Image: Alexandra Gibson.Alexandra Gibson, 26 from Verwood, Dorset, recently started a three-year university degree at Bournemouth University following completion of the Certificate in Bridging Skills for Higher Education at Poole. The certificate is part of the Skills for Health Bridging Programme and Alexandra is one of the first to complete it. Alexandra, a single mum to her six-year-old son, shares her experience.

“After school I was working as a waitress and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. My friend recommended I joined a domiciliary care company. I loved working with people and helping to look after people, it was amazing the difference the support made to people. I knew health and care was the career for me.

“While with the company I completed a NVQ 2 in Health and Social Care and then completed my Level 3 diploma. After five years I had got as far as I wanted to within the company and was keen too progress my career and further my self-improvement.

“I started working as a Health Care Assistant at Blandford Community Hospital and applied to do the Bridging Certificate. I was so pleased to get a place as the access course I was looking at would have taken me two years to get to the same level. The Bridging programme enabled me to stay working as a HCA while having one day off a week to attend college, which was a huge benefit to me.

“I completed the certificate within 16 weeks, it meant putting in extra hours at home to complete the work but I was determined to give it my best shot and the tutors were a great support.

“It is really important to be able to show my son, that even though I’m a single parent I still have career ambitions. I’m so happy to now be on the final stage of becoming a nurse.

“University is full-on, but I’m embracing it and working really hard. The tutors are great and I’ve made lots of friends. A number of us from the Bridging Programme are all on the course together which is brilliant.

“I know that by the time I’m 30, if I work hard I’ll be a qualified nurse and doing the job I want to do, caring for people’s health.”

Find out more about the Skills for Health Bridging Programme.

Image: The bridging programme.

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