A former Telford College student who landed her dream role in the medical profession after travelling the world has returned to share her story with those hoping to follow in her footsteps.
Laura McCann, 23, from Muxton, enrolled on a level three health and social care extended diploma at Telford College in 2013.
“From a young age I wanted to become a nurse. It was almost like a dream to be in the profession,” she said.
Telford College gave her the opportunity to experience priceless work experience at nursing homes, a children’s nursery, and a two-week placement on a stroke ward at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital.
“This gave me the exposure I needed, and the placement hours required to complete my course,” she said.
Laura had originally wanted to be a children’s nurse – but the placements changed her mind. “It just shows you don’t always have to go to plan!” she said.
By 2015, Laura had completed her course with distinctions – but still needed to pass her maths qualification, which she had always found difficult.
She and took a gap year to travel to Angola, where she was able to study while working with a doctor in her practice.
The experience paid off, as Laura finally passed her maths exam during this time, and was offered a guaranteed adult nursing degree position at the University of Wolverhampton – despite over 2,000 people applying for just 45 places.
“Within my final year of studying, I got to choose where I wanted to go for my placement for the last time, and went to Ghana alongside my close friend and work colleague Natasha Evans, who also studied here.
“We worked within hospital settings, with the mental health team, in rural areas of Ghana where healthcare cannot be sought.”
Laura is now the proud owner of a first class honours degree, and has secured a job as a practice nurse with a local GP surgery where she did one of her many placements.
Her message to the group of levels two and three health and social care students at Telford College students was: “You can make anything happen if you put your mind to it.
“It doesn’t always have to go to a plan – things happen, as that’s life, and you’ll always find your way. I’m grateful for the opportunities which my Telford College studies have led to.”
Tracy Leah, learner manager for health, early years and education, said: “It is fantastic to see how our students progress once they leave Telford College to pursue their careers.
“Laura has proven to be an exceptional person and has inspired our current health and social care students with the story of her journey to becoming a nurse.
“Many students start their health and social care course with very firm ideas about what they want to do as a career, but as we study different job roles, expose students to placements, and enjoy talks from visiting health professionals like Laura, they sometimes change their minds.
“This is the best part about choosing a vocational course; students can gain lots of experience and knowledge to inform their career decisions.”
She added: “We are lucky to have so many successful past students who are happy to return to college and share their stories with us.”
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