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Excellence Scholarship winner Onome Oyedokun in the Catalyst building.A nursing student has been awarded an Excellence Scholarship after a passion for caring lead her to change career direction.

Onome Oyedokun believes she is in the ideal location from which to pursue her new career ambitions.

The 34-year-old decided to study at Edge Hill University after attending an open day, being wowed by the campus and impressed with how high the Nursing course ranked.

“Although I am still in my first year and done two placements I have found the programme very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the community nursing and would like to specialise in it post-registration,” she said.

Onome was educated in her Nigeria homeland, attending military school in the cities of Kaduna and Jos.

“It had a real influence on the way I perceive things in life especially resilience and punctuality, which have been instrumental to my life achievements.”

The daughter of a lecturer, she has always aimed at pursuing higher education, and went on to study Psychology as a first degree before completing a Masters in the same subject. By this time, she’d started full-time employment and become married, a factor in her subsequent decision to return to her studies.

“My passion in caring for people and encouragement from my husband gave me the nudge to change my career path.”

Onome was inspired to retrain as an adult nurse partly due to her Psychology background, having also gained experience as a support volunteer.

“I appreciate how people feel valued when you make a difference. My passion for caring and my experience motivated me to pursue Nursing. A cheerful attitude is also one of my strengths. I am of the Christian faith and I believe the act of kindness and caring, which are part of the values, will help me in my career.”

Although Onome has found the transition back into higher education challenging, she has reaped the benefits of her hard work.

“I was really excited when I got my first semester results. This has given me the confidence to do even better. The day I was notified about the scholarship award also stands out for me as a highlight.”

Onome combines her studies with a support volunteer role with the Sefton Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, a decision she made soon after moving to Southport in 2012.

“I have received training and attended seminars which have equipped me with the relevant skills, especially concerning the importance of confidentiality and working within professional boundaries. My involvement also helped me to understand the challenges people living with Multiple Sclerosis face, and how to signpost them to appropriate services.”

Having been involved with the charity for over six years, Onome has seen awareness grow via social media channels, and helps run their page promoting activities including coffee mornings, chair-based exercises, neuro-physiotherapy service, counselling service, fundraising events.

“Using myself as an example, you do not need to be directly affected by Multiple Sclerosis, to become a support volunteer; you just need to have a passion for caring.”

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