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Mature graduate, Christine, talks about her nursing career

Since graduating from the University of Central Lancashire as a mature student, Christine has climbed the ranks in her career from starting as a Healthcare Assistant to becoming Unit Manager at an endoscopy unit.

Christine returned to education at the age of 38, where she completed a workplace funded Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care at UCLan. Four years later, Christine was given the opportunity to complete an Adult Nursing Degree here, funded by the NHS Trust she worked for.

Christine’s journey into nursing has not been easy. She longed to be a nurse early on in life but was unsuccessful initially so started working as a Funeral Director. For the next two decades, Christine worked in various healthcare settings looking after dementia patients with complex needs.

Sadly, Christine experienced a family tragedy when her father died shortly after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and then, five years later, her brother was diagnosed with bowel cancer and died aged 39. Christine felt she needed a new focus and wanted to give back to the NHS after the excellent care and treatment her father and brother received during their illnesses. Due to this, she sought employment within the NHS and secured a role as a Healthcare Assistant at Royal Preston Hospital.

Christine Roberts,  FdA Health and Social Care and BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing graduate
Christine Roberts, FdA Health and Social Care and BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing graduate

During her time at Royal Preston Hospital, Christine worked in a medical assessment unit and progressed to be a Band 4 Assistant Practitioner within her first year. This fuelled Christine to want to progress further and she decided to study a foundation degree at UCLan.

During her time at University, Christine worked at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as an Assistant Practitioner within the Endoscopy unit, as well as working for agencies running insourcing contracts across the UK within endoscopy units.

A few years later, after graduating with her foundation degree, Christine was promoted through the Widening Access to Nursing scheme which enabled her to become fully qualified in nursing with a BSc (Hons) Nursing with Registered Nurse (Adult).

"I enjoyed my time at UCLan even if I was the oldest student in the village! I was 38 years old the second time. I wouldn’t be where I am today If I hadn’t studied for both of my degrees and had the support from UCLan and the Trust."

Christine Roberts, FdA Health and Social Care and BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing graduate

After graduation, Christine applied back to the endoscopy unit at the Trust and was accepted back as a Registered Nurse. After just 14 months, Christine was appointed as Sister of the unit, which she did for two years. She was then seconded to Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and was appointed as Unit Manager of the Endoscopy Unit, where she manages a team of approximately 20 nursing staff.

Commenting on her role, Christine said: “I am responsible for our patients having the best care and experience possible whilst they are within the endoscopy unit.”

Reflecting on her time at University, Christine said: “I enjoyed my time at UCLan even if I was the oldest student in the village! I was 38 years old the second time. I wouldn’t be where I am today If I hadn’t studied for both of my degrees and had the support from UCLan and the Trust.”

When asked about what advice she would give to prospective students, Christine said: “Don’t put anything off, do It now! There’s never a perfect time to study but it can be so enjoyable and the feeling when you achieve your degree is fantastic.”