08/08/2012 07:10 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

In September I Start My Nursing Degree

new term career change

Ruth Shirley, 22, from South Wales, starts a three year nursing degree at Cardiff University this September. Ruth is mum to daughter Talea, four, son Talon, two, and 15-month-old baby girl Aine. She's married to Andrew, 31, who has swapped roles with her to become a house husband.

'I've always worked in nine to five, unfulfilling jobs like in call centres, and I didn't want my children thinking that's all they should aim for. I was academic at school but I didn't do A'levels - at that time I wanted a family first.

My mum was really chuffed when I said I wanted to go to college. When I first mentioned it, my husband looked at me like I'd grown three heads, but he's been really supportive once he realised I was totally serious about getting a better job.

I've just finished a one year access training course at Ebbw Vale College, which I started last September. My oldest and I started school within days of each other! She loves the idea I'm going to be a nurse.

The access course was very hard work with three and a half days a week of classes and then assignments on all my subjects - biology, psychology, sociology, maths, IT, health care. After the children were finally in bed, I'd settle down at the kitchen table and start my 'second job'. I couldn't have got this far without Andrew's and my mum's help.

But all the hard work and juggling baby bottles with assignment notes has been worth it - I'm so excited, and a bit nervous, to be starting my nursing degree. I think I'd like to specialise in neonatal care eventually.

Ruth's top tips to a New Term New You

Anyone can make changes to their life and September, straight after the holidays when your children are starting afresh, is a great time to start.

If you're thinking about retraining, research the amount of work you're letting yourself in for - then go for it!

Drink lots and lots of coffee. Well that's what I did to get through the last year.