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Student Story: Overcoming challenges and celebrating success

Katie, from Belfast, faced many personal challenges while studying Nursing with The Open University (OU).

Katie is one of over 250 students crossing the stage at the Waterfront Hall on Friday 9 June as part of our Belfast Degree Ceremony. Her story is a testament to the determination and resilience of so many OU students. Student’s whose success is made possible by the flexibility and dedicated support the OU offer.

"Don't stop yourself before you start.” Katie says, “Give yourself a chance. People are here, and they're incredible people who will help you along your journey. You will struggle sometimes because it's not an easy course, but you can do it."

The OU’s Future Nurse Programme delivers a unique pre-registration nursing course that works in partnership with healthcare employers and all five healthcare trusts across Northern Ireland. Katie faced a number of challenges within her personal life while working towards becoming a registered nurse.

"In my last year, I had a baby and sadly lost both my parents within nine months. The tutors and OU team helped me hugely throughout this time "

Throughout her study, the OU provided invaluable assistance and support, allowing her to study at a pace that suited her and to work around her personal life. In fact, when asked about the highlight of her time studying with the OU she responded:

“The support I received throughout.”

“My practice tutors and academic tutors were a huge support, always in my corner encouraging me to move forward.”

"You don't do it on your own. You have all that support network around you. I know it's daunting to start your journey, but you have so much support, so just go for it. What have you got to lose?"

“Studying isn’t always easy but always worth it.”

She believes that anyone can achieve their goals, they just have to take that first step.

"Don't stop before you start. You can do it. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

Completing her degree at the OU has not only equipped Katie with necessary skills and knowledge but has also instilled her with a newfound confidence that will help her in both her personal life and future career.

"I have gained so much confidence from completing my degree.”

"Don't doubt yourself; you can make it work. The OU is a fantastic way to study."

Reflecting on her incredible journey, Katie is thankful for the support and opportunities afforded to her by the OU.

“I have now gained a professional occupation, which has provided me with confidence and resilience. My future holds so many opportunities due to competing my studies at the OU.”

"I will always be grateful to have been given the chance to study at the OU. I will always advocate for the university wherever possible."

When asked what her proudest achievement was, she had two answers.

"My daughter and my degree."

It’s through the stories of students like Katie, and their dedication, that the OU is proud to share the transformative power of education that is open to all.

For media enquiries please contact:

Christine Murphy, Communications Manager

Tel 028 9053 6219