University of Southern Queensland nursing student Rose Stevens with husband Wayne and children Lily, Theo, Andrew, Ruby, and Olivia.
University of Southern Queensland nursing student Rose Stevens with husband Wayne and children Lily, Theo, Andrew, Ruby, and Olivia.

How free uni program got mum of six onto dream career path

AFTER a long career in financial administration, Rose Stevens decide it was time to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.

The mum of six enrolled into the University of Southern Queensland's Tertiary Preparation Program.

The program is a free bridging course into uni for people who didn't finish Year 12 or haven't studied in a long time.

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Mrs Stevens first considered going to university 20 years ago when her oldest child had just turned two but thought it would all be too much to juggle.

"Little did I know that I would juggle so much more 20 years later," she said.

"I probably have a million 'started but never completed' certificates in different study areas, and even though I had the best intentions, life would always prevent me from completing them.

"I was worried TPP would be another one, but once I started it, I could see how it was going to help me achieve my degree entry and I was fully motivated to not only complete it, but succeed where I hadn't before.

"I have another 25 or so years left to work, and I want to make the most of them by doing something I am passionate about."

She enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing after completing the TTP program last year.

Mrs Stevens left school in Year 10 and is the first in her family to go to university.

She studies full-time while raising five kids and working night shifts in retail.

"Having the option to study online made it a lot easier for me to complete the course work at my own pace, on my own time," she said.

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"Often I would watch tutorials while cooking dinner or preparing school lunches, so I became adept at multi-tasking.

"To anyone considering going back to study, my advice would be don't be afraid to start and don't be afraid of the challenges.

"Don't be afraid to follow your dreams.

"Every day you put if off is one less day you have to enjoy your future dream."

More information about studying a pathway program at USQ can be found here.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.


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