University advice puts Marian on the road to nurse training and a new life

Published: 27 November 2006 at 10:58

Student finds career, husband and starts a family all thanks to Child Nursing.

Marian Willingale, who lives in Basildon, was 35 when she thought about nurse training, with a mixed career path behind her.  Starting out from school as a secretary, she quickly moved into a more lucrative job as a recruitment consultant and onto something that grew from her love of fitness training, a short career as an aerobics instructor and personal trainer.  But she always knew that she wanted more out of life.

Her mother was a nurse and Marian had always had it in her mind that she would like to follow in her footsteps but had wondered if she could afford to work in the field of healthcare after working within the private sector. Marian explains:

“It was a friend who pushed me to apply for nurse training. She said that I’d been playing around with the idea for so long that it was high time I did something about it.”

“I was temping in London at the time and I looked for information on the Internet about nursing. Details about the Institute of Health and Social Care came up at Anglia Ruskin University. I called to talk about Adult Nursing but the adviser I spoke with said she thought I would be ideally suited to Child Nursing.”

Places were limited to 30 places a year but after Marian had researched Child Nursing she knew it was the nursing path for her. Anglia Ruskin University’s Institute of Health and Social Care offers two routes to Registered Nurse status (diploma and degree level), Marian chose to study for the degree. This was in 2002 and now at 39 she has graduated with her degree, met and married her husband, who she met through her mentor at a placement at a doctor’s surgery, and is expecting her first baby in March 2007, just in time for her 40 birthday.

During her three year study period, Marian worked at Basildon & Thurrock NHS Hospital on the Puffin (general medical) and Wagtail (surgical) Wards; at a doctor’s surgery; as a health visitor; with schools; families; and working directly with Social Services.

“At the time I questioned the relevance of such widespread training but since joining the Wagtail Ward full time I can now clearly see why such breadth of experience is relevant to the very wide-ranging nursing role.”

“I am so pleased to have made it into a job that I absolutely love.”

“Being a child nurse can be emotionally challenging at times but very motivating. I am very happy nursing in this environment. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”

“Everything has certainly come together for me and it’s all been thanks to my nurse training. Without that I wouldn’t have met my husband and have been able to complete my life with the prospect of my own baby.”