Name: Ann-Kathrin

Lives in: Birmingham

Currently studying: BSc Nursing Top-up

Why ICS? The flexibility and easy-to-access online course structure.

Ann-Kathrin was working as a staff nurse in acute emergency medicine when she decided to enrol on our BSc Nusing Top-up course. The distance learning course is designed for UK registered nurses with a Higher Education Diploma who would like to further their professional development. It's accredited by Napier University and leaves graduates with a bachelor's degree in nursing.

"I chose the distance learning course because I wanted to develop my knowledge and skills as a nurse. I was eager to learn more, " Ann-Kathrin explains. She came across ICS whilst browsing the Internet and liked the fact that the course was flexible and easy to access online.

Cost was also a persuading factor. She tells us, "The flexible payment plan with ICS made it easier to self fund for my degree."

"When they are sick, I stand by them and make them better"

The opportunity to make a difference is the reason Ann-Kathrin pursued a nursing career in the first place. Helping improve the lives of her patients is what she enjoys most about the job.

"I enjoy looking after patients and making a difference. When they are sick, I stand by them and make them better."

Ann-Kathrin's passion for patient care drives her career ambitions. Her long-term goal is to become a nurse consultant and teach at university level.

"I have proved them wrong"

Whilst the BSc Nursing Top-up course is demanding as it is, Ann-Kathrin faced an additional hurdle. Originally from Germany, English is not her first language. Although she knew this would be a challenge, she didn't let it stop her.

"As English is not my first language, I had a few problems with the words. I would look them up and spend hours revising terminology.

"There were some people telling me that I would never complete the BSc in Nursing, but I have proved them wrong and now they respect me more for what I have achieved."

"My determination pulled me through"

Working full time whilst enrolled on the course, Ann-Kathrin fit her coursework in whenever she could find the time. She studied on days off, evenings, weekends and during her annual leave.

"At first I found it tough working full time and studying for the degree, however, after a while I become more determined to complete the course. I found the course enjoyable, even though hard at times."

For Ann-Kathrin, the most challenging part of her experience was when she failed an essay and had to resubmit it.

"I decided to look at the feedback, take it on board and work on it for resubmission, and that's how I passed. I found that my determination to complete the course pulled me through.

"In the end studying for the BSc in Nursing has paid off and I am happy I have achieved my goal and completed the degree."

"The BSc has opened doors for me"

After completing the top-up course and receiving her degree, Ann-Kathrin decided to pursue her master's. She'll start this next wave of education in January or February 2015, doing one module at Birmingham City University and the remainder through Edinburgh Napier.

"The BSc has opened doors for me to study my master's in nursing and then hopefully go on to do a PhD course. It has taught me a lot and how to apply the knowledge I have gained to my clinical practice."

"Be prepared to work hard"

When asked what advice she would give other students enrolled on the nursing top-up course, Ann-Kathrin emphasises the importance of hard work and determination.

"Always explore your options and seek help if you don't understand something. Mentors at ICS Learn are there to help you. And if you do fail an essay for any reason, just read your feedback and work to improve it for resubmission.

"If you have the determination and commitment, then this course will be for you. However, be prepared to work hard!"

Watch out for more 'ICS Real Stories' right here on our blog. In the meantime, learn more about our BSc Nursing Top-up course.