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Nursing had always come naturally to Sophie and she used to love listening to both her mum and grandmother talk about their experiences of working within the NHS.
Now working as a registered nurse at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Sophie says many of the skills that helped her through university she obtained at City College Plymouth, where she studied for a BTEC in Medical Sciences.
While Sophie finished her diploma with a triple distinction star, she admitted she had struggled with A Levels at sixth form, failing to obtain the grades necessary to study adult nursing at university.
Sophie said: “Exams as a form of assessment weren’t right for me. One of my friends mentioned the wide range of courses that City College offered and made me look into the medical ones. I came across the medical sciences course, which fitted perfectly and was a BTEC, which meant no exams!
“The staff at City College were supportive throughout the course and helped me get interviews for nursing at universities around the country. I eventually chose the University of Surrey, where I gained a 2.1.
“City College helped me to develop skills that I’ve taken with me on my career journey. I learned how to work independently and prioritise my workload, and the scientific knowledge that I was taught on my course put me in a good position when I began my degree.”
Sophie, who works on a high-dependency surgical ward, said the lecturers’ approach to each subject, and the practical nature of the course, has helped her to retain that knowledge, something which didn’t seem to happen for her while studying via the traditional A Level route.
Sophie said: “If you are thinking about what to do next, I recommend just choosing something you will enjoy; the right career will find you as a result. For me, that was nursing, and I am glad I took my friend’s advice.”