Alumni Stories

Eleonora Vitiello: Where my Access to Nursing course took me 

Eleonora decided to change her career and become a nurse after experiencing illness in her family. She studied ESOL and Access to Nursing at Southwark College before studying at university and eventually achieving her ambition.  


She agreed to speak to our Alumni Team about her experiences and how Southwark College helped her get where she is today – here’s what she had to say. 


“I started my journey at Southwark College in 2004 with an ESOL course to improve my English. Emboldened by a teacher, I carried on and gained a GSCE in Maths as well at the end of the school year,” she said. “Then, for the following few years I brought up my son and I worked part-time in catering. 


“In the meantime my dad was diagnosed with cancer and I came to a conclusion that nurses and midwives really make a difference in people’s lives,” she said of her decision to change her career. “After that, in 2012 I was back at Southwark College ready for an Access to Nursing course. It was not easy yet I managed to finish it with good results.” 


Access to HE Diploma in Nursing (Level 3) Programme at Southwark College is a one year intensive course is aimed at enabling mature students (19+) to progress to a degree programme in nursing or a related subject at university. The aim of the course is to prepare students for study on a health related Bachelor’s degree programme such as adult nursing, social work or midwifery, providing modules that widen their knowledge and experience of health and social care. 


So where did the Access to Nursing course take Eleonora? 


“I embarked on an Adult Nursing course the following year at Kingston University and I graduated in 2016,” she said. “I started to work straightaway; at first in Cardiac care in hospital and now I work in a GUM clinic as a Sexual Health Nurse. 


“Without the help of my best friend and the College I do not think I would have been able to even fill in my university application form,” she said.  


Thanks so much for sharing your story, Eleonora! 

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