Dianne Jamison
Nursing at Kilmarnock College (2008-9)
Nursing UWS (2009-2012)
“Life is short. You’ve got to grab every opportunity and you don’t know unless you try.”    

Dianne never considered going to university after leaving school. “It was never discussed,” she says.  The emphasis at home was on the importance of getting a good job.  “My dad was a manual worker, a heating engineer to trade, and he had been with the same company for a number of years. He rose to a position of facility manager and got paid a pretty good wage so I think it proved to him that the best plan was to get in with a good company, work hard and get promoted. And that’s what he wanted me to do. It was always understood that I would get a job.  There was no question.”

Following her father’s advice and example, she left school and went straight into employment.  She worked her way up from an entry-level position in an estate agent’s office to a position as Accounts Supervisor.  “I had a nice car, nice holidays, and a nice lifestyle,” she says, “but I knew I wanted to do something else.”

After getting married and having a child, Dianne moved into part-time work and devoted most of her time to looking after her young son. As he grew older and more independent, however, she realised that the time was right for her to return to education. With some soul-searching, a bit of research and guidance from the staff at Kilmarnock College,  she finally settled on the SWAP Access to Nursing programme.

Although she found the academic side of things quite manageable, the year was not without its challenges. When her husband lost his job, Dianne was forced to give serious consideration to abandoning her plans to continue her education. However, with support from the college and her family, she decided to stick with her original plan.  She successfully completed the Access Programme and has since progressed onto a nursing degree course at the University of the West of Scotland. 

She counts among the benefits of the SWAP programme the many friends she has made along the way: “We’re great friends now, friends for life.  And in hindsight, that is so important because nobody else really knows what you’re going through other than your peers. We all helped each other out. It was really good.” 
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