Don’t stop believing 

Althia Turner is proof that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.

After 26 years as a domestic supervisor, physiotherapy and health care assistant at UCLH, she decided the time was right to start a new chapter in her life.

Althia (pictured above) embarked on a full-time university course and has recently qualified as a nurse at the age of 55.

Althia said: "When I was doing the other jobs I knew I wanted more… but I was caring for three grandchildren and it just wasn’t possible. When my 50th birthday approached I decided I wanted a change in my life and to do something for myself. I feel so proud at what I have achieved. My husband and children are proud of me too!"

She was encouraged to move up the career ladder after chief nurse and talent spotter Louise Boden made a comment.

"One day I was sent to first aid training where I met a colleague called Louise Boden who was a chief nurse. Louise assumed that I was a nurse. When Louise saw my badge one day she was surprised and said ‘why don’t you go for it?’ She inspired me."

As a first step, she beat off stiff competition to win a healthcare assistant post at The Heart Hospital and subsequently gained her NVQ. Then with support from senior colleague Ellie Knights she signed up for three years at South Bank University. Her studies were funded by UCLH.

When the going got tough she knew she could rely on her friends and colleagues.

"I didn’t have a secondary education so I found university difficult at first. When I was upset Louise and other colleagues were very kind and considerate and offered me support. Louise in particular has shown an interest throughout it all."

Louise said Althia is a great example of how it is never too late to develop your career.

Louise added: "It is helping colleagues like Althia that makes my job really worthwhile. I wish her continued success and I have no doubt that she will make a great nurse."

Althia returns to The Heart Hospital as a fully qualified staff nurse this autumn.

"It’s made me realise you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. I feel on top of the world," she added.

Althia Turner