When an adult learner initially enrolled at Solihull College to improve her English, she never thought that in a few years time she’d be training to become a nurse.
But that’s what happened to 34-year-old Christina James, who is now studying for a mental health nursing degree at Birmingham City University.
Christina, who is dyslexic, realised that she needed to develop her English skills in order to further her career and decided to enrol at Solihull College, where she also studied an Access to Higher Education course in Health Care.
It wasn’t long before Christina’s tutors spotted her potential and on completion of the programme encouraged her to progress onto a Higher Education course to train as a nurse.
Mother-of-one Christina, from Solihull, comments: “I still can’t believe I’m studying for a nursing degree, every time I walk into university I have to pinch myself! As I couldn’t read or write to GCSE level I thought I could never be a nurse, but I have proved myself wrong and I now dream of getting a PhD. I have also inspired my 11-year-old daughter to become a doctor when she grows up.”
Now in her second year, Christina is not only studying for her own degree, but she also supports other students on the course. Her mentoring role involves acting as the service user (patient) for an anti-psychotic drug, demonstrating how people can be affected by it.
Christina adds: “Someone very close to me suffers from a mental health disorder so I have a real interest in this field of nursing and I am passionate to succeed and make a difference.”
Madelyn Green, Head of School for Health and Care at Solihull College, comments: “I am extremely proud of Christina and the transformation she has made since initially enrolling at the College is remarkable – she is a real inspiration to others. It is always interesting to find out where our students have progressed to and hearing Christina’s journey makes it all worthwhile.”