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Pathway program helps mother-of-six Rose flourish

“Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams.”

That’s the advice University of Southern Queensland student and mother-of-six Rose Stevens gives to anyone who is thinking about making a career change.

After a long career in financial administration, Mrs Stevens found the courage to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.

“I first considered going to university about 20 years ago when my oldest child had just turned two, but I thought it would be too hard to juggle everything. Little did I know that I would juggle so much more 20 years later,” she said.

“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.”

Determined to fulfil her goal and set a good example for her six children, aged 2 to 23, she enrolled in the University of Southern Queensland’s Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP).

TPP is a free bridging course into university for people who didn’t complete Year 12 or haven’t studied in a while.

“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,” Mrs Stevens said.

“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.”

Mrs Stevens, who left school in Year 10, said the program not only enabled her the flexibility to study around her busy lifestyle, but the opportunity to enjoy learning again.

“I am the first in my family to go to university, so it was a whole new world for me to navigate,” she said.

“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.

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

Thanks to her perseverance and the support from her TPP lecturers and family, Mrs Stevens was able complete the program last year and enrol in a Bachelor of Nursing.

Despite juggling full-time study with raising five children and working night shifts in retail, Mrs Stevens has flourished in the first four semesters of her degree.

“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,” she said.

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

More information about studying a pathways program at USQ can be found online.

Enrolments for Semester 3 are now open.

family smiling
Nursing student Rose Stevens with her husband Wayne and children Lily, 14, Theo, 2, Andrew, Ruby, both 6, and Olivia, 11. Not pictured is oldest son Frank.