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This is a guest blog by current student Grace Cookson studying BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing who applied through Clearing.

My journey at Bournemouth University began in July last year. I was driving home from work when I saw a Clearing sign outside the main Talbot campus. I live locally. Going to university wasn’t something I had thought about as I had not long had a baby and had just returned to work from maternity leave.

During my car journey home I thought about how nice it would be to be at university with all the social life that it brings whilst getting a good degree with good job propositions upon qualifying. I wanted to find out more information so I contacted the university to see what courses they were offering and whether I possessed the entry requirements. I met informally with two lecturers from Mental Health Nursing and Adult Nursing who told me more about the courses and what I could expect at university.

I was fortunate to be offered a place onto both the BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing and BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing course. The lecturers were really friendly and helped me to decide that adult nursing best suited my personality and skill set. BU completed their identity and academic checks and I started my first day in September! The whole Clearing process was very quick, easy and I was sent lots of useful information prior to my start date.

Working in healthcare had made me want to pursue a career in nursing, I didn’t think this would be possible as I had 3 children all ages 5 and under, a full time job and responsibilities at home. I discussed university with my husband, who I expected to laugh at me for even suggesting going to university! He was so supportive as it is something I had wanted to do for a long time but it never seemed to be a good time. I decided to take the plunge and go for it, realising that I could wait many years and it still wouldn’t be the right time. With the right motivation and support system in place it was possible.

I am now nearing the end of my 1st year at BU, I have found the university to be supportive in many ways. There are lots of mature students on nursing courses so it was easy to make friends as I found a lot of people where in similar situations to me. BU has a mature students group where social activities can include children so it becomes much more of a family day out! The support from the Additional Learning Support tutors has been really helpful when I have needed allowing me to have extra time in exams and offering 1:1 tutorials.

I often think that Clearing is viewed negatively, for people who didn’t achieve the grades they were hoping for but this isn’t the case at all! It was a lifeline and an opportunity to a brand new and exciting future for me. I had put a late application in as I had made the decision to study nursing and thought why not go right now?! Anything is possible if you want it enough.

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