Zimbabwe teacher fulfils her nursing dream with UCLan
Sheilah Chitungo teacher uses her skills with children to clinch a career in nursing through UCLan
A former primary school teacher from Zimbabwe has secured a dream new career for herself as a nurse in England after graduating through University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Sheilah Chitungo, who lives in Leigh, Wigan, first moved to the UK 10-years-ago to begin a new life and now she has just celebrated graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Nursing. To add to her achievement, she has now also begun her first full-time nursing role at Manchester’s St Mary’s Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.
For Sheilah, 43, it marks the culmination of a dream to take up nursing following her previous career teaching children aged between five and eight in her native Zimbabwe.
She said: “I’ve always loved working with children and when I first came to the UK I knew that training to be a neo natal nurse was something that I would love to do.
“Having a young child of my own spurred me on further to pursue it as a career and with UCLan I was able to get some fantastic experience working in the front line at children’s hospitals in Lancashire.”
As part of her training, Sheilah spent time working in the children’s wards at hospitals in Wigan and Ormskirk, something that really inspired her.
"Thanks to the support I have had from them over the last three years, it has really inspired me to feel more confident in myself and take my ambitions forward."
She added: “I am naturally compassionate as a person, particularly with having a child of my own, and the experience of working on my placements has made me even more compassionate.”
Sheilah says that the support she had from tutors at UCLan and her own family as she studied has really helped to build her confidence as an individual and prepare for working in a real-world environment.
She said: “Thanks to the support I have had from them over the last three years, it has really inspired me to feel more confident in myself and take my ambitions forward.”
Sheilah has also now just begun her first full time nursing role at Manchester St Mary’s Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.
She adds: “It is such an exciting challenge for me and I feel so lucky to be starting a job where you can bring really positive change into people’s lives. For me this is a dream fulfilled and I am so grateful to the tutors and staff for helping to make this possible for me.”