Mother-of-four graduates with distinction from innovative children’s health course

Sharon Hall (44), a Community Nursery Nurse and mother-of-four, will graduate with distinction as part of the first cohort of students to gain a Diploma in Higher Education (Children and Young People's Health and Wellbeing) from Robert Gordon University on Friday 10 December at 10.30am.

The pilot course, launched by the University in May 2009 in conjunction with NHS Education for Scotland, is aimed at staff in support roles working in the field of social work, health or education with children and young people. It is underpinned by the principles of the Scottish Government's ‘Early Years' and ‘Getting it Right for Every Child' policies.

The course is delivered online, with students recruited from pilot sites throughout Scotland. All students on the course were in full or part-time employment and supported by their local authority or health board to undertake the diploma over two years.

Students completed four theory modules online and four practice modules in their place of work relating theory to their own role and practice.

Sharon, from Blairhall in Fife, is part of the first cohort of sixteen students to graduate from the course with a Diploma in Higher Education (Children and Young People's Health and Wellbeing).

Sharon, who worked as a Breastfeeding Support Worker, was struggling to find a relevant course to take her career forward when she enrolled at the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Sharon explains: "The course content was perfect to enable me to pursue my career choice as a Community Nursery Nurse. The distance learning format also ensured that I was able to continue working as a Support Worker during my studies.

Not only did Sharon have to juggle her studies with employment, but she also had to combine her education with caring for her four children: Daniel (16), Tommy (12), Ronan (8), and Liam (5), who was only 3 when she began the course.

Sharon continues: "The biggest challenge was completing assignments while juggling looking after four children and working part-time. There was lots of taxi-driving to various after school activities including football, golf and swimming lessons, as well as living in a house with four boisterous boys! Luckily, my parents were very understanding and stayed in my house whilst I attended study days on campus."

Sharon's hard work has paid off and she recently started as a Community Nursery Nurse with NHS Fife.

She concludes: "I really enjoyed the course and never found it a chore to sit down and study or read the learning materials. I would highly recommend the course as a great way of earning a qualification whilst continuing employment.

"The course provided me with an in-depth working knowledge of children, young people and families, which in turn, has given me great confidence in delivering competent practice in my new role."

Sarah Grieve
Communications Officer
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206
Mob: 07970 622229