Personal Stories from past Students. Luke’s Story
I completed my Leaving Cert in 2020, I was unsure what career path to follow so I applied for Pre-Nursing in St. Conleth’s Community College. While I was apprehensive, it was the best decision I have ever made. I found the course challenging but highly rewarding. I feel that over the year I have gained confidence, learned to trust my own ability and decision making. The tutors went above and beyond to ensure I have achieved my distinctions and reach my full potential. I have made some tremendous friends throughout the year. During these uncertain times, we were always there to support, help, and guide each other. My tutors always motivated me to get out of my comfort zone and to challenge myself regularly, I was voted in as Class Representative, although it was incredibly challenging, it was extremely rewarding as I learned to trust myself and gained a lot of confidence by the end of the year. I was given many opportunities to develop new skills and expand on existing skills. During the year I was asked to address Leaving Certificate students on an online call with sixth years to talk about my experience in Conleth’s, while I was a bit nervous to do it, it was a highly enjoyable experience. I applied through UCAS, which is the UK equivalent to the CAO. This gave me the opportunity to gain experience in writing personal statements and research many colleges as the application process is completely different than CAO. I gained communication skills throughout the year which really benefited me in the interviews for Universities, each interview was different as some were group interviews where I was interviewed with other students and some were individual, the interviews were held through Zoom due to Covid-19 restrictions which was strange at first as I wasn’t used to it, but It was still highly rewarding as I was offered three conditional offers for Mental Health and General Nursing. On our first day we were told the importance of the ethical way to wear the uniform and of the six C’s in nursing, and this is something I will carry on throughout my educational and nursing carer, as I want to progress onto College for Mental Health Nursing. I would highly recommended St. Conleth’s for anyone contemplating applying for a PLC course as it was the most rewarding year I’ve had in education to date, and I look forward to my future study in an area I now know I love, and I want to make my lifelong career.
Tommy’s Story from a confused Science drop out to a Cardiac Care Nurse Hi, I am Tommy a cardiac nurse in Southampton. I was asked to write a little bit about my journey in nursing. Get yourself a cup of tea because this one may take a while. I wanted to be a nurse when I was 17 but life got in the way. One or two people may have even laughed and said nursing isn’t a job for men. I had aimed to go to Scotland and had my whole life mapped out. If you learn one thing, life never follows a linier path. The dreaded leaving cert came, and I ended up doing a Science degree, I loved the people, the labs and the craic. But something just didn’t feel right. At the halfway point, two years into a degree I dropped out. It was hard to do, give up on something you though you wanted to do. I spent some time looking into what I wanted to do, I was working in a hotel and one day a family came in kids, mam and granny. The mam was finding it difficult and I could tell the older lady had mild signs of dementia, so I went over, chatted and helped to orientate the lady. It was at this point I knew without doubt what I wanted to do. I phoned St.Conleth’s about their Pre-nursing course. I knew through the grapevine it was one of the best pre-nursing courses in the country. I didn’t know what to expect, all I knew was books and labs and now I had this new form of learning. A new type of learning that was focused around people and their lives. The educators of St. Conleth’s give their all and you know they have your best interests at heart. They want you to do well and succeed. The school crest is an acorn and it is so perfectly befitting. I gained a voice in St. Conleths and in nursing that’s what you need. In nursing you become your patients advocate. I had decided if I got a place at third level having completed my QQI levrl 5 that I was going abroad, that was the best option for me. It was what I needed. We had classes on interview preparation that got me offers in London and Southampton I decided on Southampton. St. Conleths have very strong Links with them. I am not a fan of listing my achievements as that’s just not me. If this helps get more people into nursing then I am all for it! I got on a plane to Southampton in September 16th 2016. I didn’t have a clue what to expect. I knew about 15 people either going over to study or living in Southampton. It was heart-breaking leaving your family and friends behind. For the first year I just settled in dealt with the homesickness. I was quite in some ways. Then my second year came, and I found myself questioning gender equalities and that found a new voice. Maybe I was more confident, or maybe it was those little comments to 17-year-old me. I stood up and had policies changed and got involved with the University and a team of people who felt the same, we changed the student uniform to a striped one, the girls wore it but the men had white ones, people thought we were anything but nurses. This uniform change is aimed to go across England and eventually the UK. Once that happened, I became one of the voices and faces of nursing in Southampton university. I became a course rep and helped to voice the opinions of student nurses when they felt they couldn’t. At this point I said yes to a photoshoot for the university website. Little did I know it was going to be on the prospectuses, the walls of open days and eventually my face hanging from a lamp post. I then got nabbed into talking at Open days. This was when things changed yet again. I never liked public speaking, it was never really my thing. I got up and spoke about how nursing how we are allowed into the lives of people that the rest of the public would never see. The moment we hear a babies first breath or the privilege to be with a person and their family in their last breath. I spoke about my first placement and the impact bring a person back to life has on you. None of this was staged as I spoke from the heart. People cried at how beautiful the profession is and so many wanted to become nurses. After this I was asked to go back to Ireland with Southampton University and interview students in Dublin. I had come full circle. Things didn’t stop there, I got involved with trade unions and The NMC (Nursing Midwifery Council) by chance they asked me if I wanted to take part in a case study so you can read that on https://www.nmc.org.uk/about-us/shaping-the-future/case-studies/tommy-tierney-cassells/ Now I am a qualified nurse starting my career in the middle of the pandemic that is COVID 19. The moment you realise what you want and put your mind to it is half the battle. All you need is a little bit of motivation and support to start you off. That is what I got in Newbridge! If I had to review St Conleths it would be 10/10. I would not be a nurse if it wasn’t for those amazing people. To date they have secured Nursing places for over fifteen people in a university that is graded Third in the UK and Fifth in the World!! Not to mention many other universities both in Ireland and in the UK. Now that’s no mean feat!! Finally, I became RN Tommy in March 2020 Nursing is an amazing journey. It is what you make it. Get involved, join in and support each other. If you want to see more of my journey get onto my Instagram to see what its been like https://www.instagram.com/tommytierneycassells/. If you have any questions about the course or want to know more about nursing, get in contact.
Mission Statement St. Conleth’s Community College provides a positive learning environment which encourages and enables our students to achieve their academic potential while fostering their personal development.