If you’re at a crossroads and unsure what to do next when you get your A level results, you could follow the lead of Ballymoney sisters Christine and Shauna McIlfatrick who used Northern Regional College as a stepping stone to study nursing at university.
Next month Christine will taking up the offer of a place at Ulster University Magee to study Adult Nursing while younger sister Shauna will be going to Queen’s University in Belfast to study Learning Disability Nursing.
Both are past pupils of Loreto College in Coleraine and, to meet university entry requirements, they completed a HNC Level 4 Diploma in Health and Social Care at the College’s Magherafelt campus.
Christine says juggling full time work as a nursing auxiliary with part time study at College helped improve her time management and organisation skills.
“I developed new skills and now have a lot more confidence in my own ability as a result of doing this course. I’m better at prioritising tasks and have a greater understanding of the importance of maintaining a caring and professional attitude at all times.”
Christine added that she would definitely recommend studying at Northern Regional College.
“I think it is a great stepping stone to get where you want to be, especially for anyone who may have been out of education for a while or someone who has a family.”
Shauna had initially planned to do directly to university after A levels but when she didn’t get the grades needed, decided to do the HNC Level 4 Health and Social Care course as a way of meeting the entry requirements for nursing.
“During the course, I got a job working with adults with learning disabilities and complex needs and this helped me decide what I wanted to focus on. My experience at the College was very enjoyable. I was studying something I feel passionate about and the support offered by tutors was amazing.”