Claire McAspurren
Nursing at GKC Springburn 2014-15
Adult Nursing at Stirling University

Hi, my name is Claire and I am 30 years old and I live in Cumbernauld with my husband and three beautiful children. As a busy mum, wife and aunt,  I am always running around for everyone else and trying to find time for myself and my interests.  Nursing was always something I wanted to pursue, but never in a million years did I believe that I was capable of the study.  Nor did I think I had the time to do it....

However, I have just completed my SWAP Access to Nursing programme at Glasgow Kelvin College, Springburn Campus and will be starting the Adult Nursing degree at the University of Stirling after the summer! What a roller coaster of emotions; will I cope with assessments, written work? The answer was yes to it all.

My advice to any new student is to believe in yourself, when you have a goal, a dream to do something, you will succeed. I did it and so can you!
  My class was full of adult students like myself who had been out of education for a while. We all felt the same, daunted by the prospect of returning to education after a long time; however, we had no reason to, as support was provided by our lecturers and by SWAP staff too. We were eased into work gently and encouraged to believe in ourselves.  

‘Preparation for Higher Education’ on the SWAP web site gives you much information and many tips on how to be a successful student. Using the study diary and “Taking Stock” worksheets lets you see how you improved throughout the course.  There are also many helpful tips and videos to help you use UCAS, write your personal statement, prepare for interviews and how to write essays and reports.   


What was school like for you?

School for me was awful. I really struggled at course work and found peer pressure a huge struggle. I was also bullied during the first two years of secondary. My level at school was general /foundation standard grades. Leaving school was only an option if I had an apprenticeship. So off I went and found myself a position at a salon in Glasgow.  

What did you do after school?

My apprenticeship was for hairdressing which I completed after 4 years, but I hated it. So I changed over to cosmetics and worked my way up the ladder in various counters up to management level. For 15 years I have worked within the beauty industry, but found the tasks simple and was finding myself wanting to learn more, do more.  

What led you to return to education?

Once I registered my youngest for primary school I decided that it was time for me to follow my dream, and to take the first step for nursing. This was something I wanted to do for years, actually 10 years it took for me to get to this stage. While working with the public I realised that I loved helping and educating my customers. I wanted to better myself and my family’s life.  

What has your SWAP programme been like? 

SWAP encouraged and supported me through my course. It helped me believe in my abilities and expanded on the skills I had already gained. I’m not going to lie; yes returning to education was challenging especially in the beginning, for example, learning to study and write reports. But the support was there. You are in a class with fellow members just like yourself who have been out of education for a long period of time, or have little to no grades. Everyone had the same fears. The SWAP website has all the info tips and support needed to be a successful student.  

What have you enjoyed the most?

I enjoyed meeting the other classmates who now have become close friends. I also enjoyed learning new skills and capturing the excitement of the lead up to assessments.  

Do you feel prepared for university?

If I had been asked this question in August of 2014 I would have said no way. Uni? No chance, although maybe HNC. Now I can answer honestly and say yes I am very prepared and cannot wait to put into practice the skills I have been taught during my access course. The SWAP website has plenty of helpful tips and videos to help and prepare you for the next steps e.g. how to write your personal statement, how to write essays and reports.  

How have you changed?  What are your future goals?

My confidence within myself has improved drastically. I never thought I would have made it to the end, but I did. I completed my course and my assessments were passed with high marks.  My future goal is to continue to study nursing and hopefully become a specialist within my chosen field.  

Anything else?

Believe in yourself, the only person that can hold you back is you. Take each assessment, report or essay one by one and don’t panic and be yourself. And most importantly ENJOY IT!!!!!!!  
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