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After Covid Loss, Aspiring Nurse Takes Just 8 Months to Secure Dream University Place

22nd November 23

Emma Louise Fillier never thought she would be able to pursue a nursing career after suffering childhood “emotional abuse”, but after Covid-19 took the lives of “almost half” of the care home residents where she worked, she found renewed determination and thanks to learndirect, took just 8 months to get accepted at university to study a nursing degree. 

The 34-year-old mother of two is now studying a degree in Adult Nursing at the University of Sunderland, where she enrolled this September after successfully completing an Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing) within just 8 months. 

From the comfort of her own home, after enrolling in January 2023, Emma completed the online course and secured her place at university, beginning her degree in September. 

“I planned to use the full two years for the course and then apply to university afterwards, but I decided last minute after quite a lot of encouragement from my mum to try to apply for university this year,” said Emma. “If I couldn’t get in, I could always try again next year, but I got in! I literally bawled my eyes out. 

“I was just overwhelmed with happiness, and I was so proud of myself that I’d actually achieved something that others told me I never would, and it’s the first time in a long time that I’m excited for the future.” 

After Covid Loss, Aspiring Nurse Takes Just 8 Months to Secure Dream University Place (emma-nursing-65c0f33479b31.webp)

While Emma’s determination to become a nurse came from a desire to help people, her reason for choosing learndirect as her gateway to university came down to price – something that has been occupying the minds of everyone across the UK due to rising living costs. 

Thankfully for Emma, learndirect’s various payment plans enabled her to take that significant step towards her future. 

“I wouldn’t have been able to afford it if I couldn’t pay it in instalments, but that option was definitely the deciding factor for choosing learndirect,” added Emma. 

Achieving a Goal the Unconventional Way 

Emma’s path to nursing has been a long and emotional one, living through bullying, career changes, motherhood, and witnessing the devastating effects of Covid-19 first hand. 

After suffering “bullying from both students and teachers at school, and emotional abuse from certain family members” while growing up, Emma’s confidence took a dip, so she embarked on a 10-year career in childcare. 

She stepped away from work to raise her two sons – Harrison, 11, and Lucas, 9 – until April 2019 when she started working at a care home in Murton, County Durham, where she would go on to experience the full horrors of Covid-19. 

“We lost about half of the original residents, and it was hard, but it showed me that I’m far stronger emotionally that I ever thought that I could be. So, at the end of 2022, I decided that I wanted to at least try to become a nurse.” 

Now, Emma is on her way to achieving that goal, and she has an empowering message to others who have a similar dream. 

“If you just need to take that one step, take it. I never ever thought that I would be able to do it, but I’m here and I’m doing it, and so can you.” 

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