Newcastle Man Moving To Nursing Thanks To SERC

Second chance leads Tiernan to nursing opportunity in Health Care

Second chance leads Tiernan to nursing opportunity in Health Care

Following five years working in hospitality, Tiernan King discovered exactly what he wanted to do when he changed jobs moving into the health and social care sector, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Tiernan (23) from Newcastle, said: “I left school after Lower Six, realising the career path I was on wasn’t for me. I wasn’t clear what I wanted to do so I took a break from education and began working full-time in a hotel.

“After five years, I moved to a new role in health and social care, and it was then I decided I wanted to gain qualifications in that field and perhaps even go on to do nursing.

Newcastle man Tiernan King (23) returned to study a HNC in Healthcare Practice at SERC which has led him to a university degree and a career in adult nursing.

“At present I am a Senior Care Assistant in a local residential home. I have been able to combine work with the Level 4 HNC in Healthcare Practice at South Eastern Regional College (SERC), which I complete this year.

“I hope to take up an offer for a BSc in Adult Nursing at Queen’s University Belfast or Ulster University to become a fully qualified registered nurse.”

Speaking about the HNC course at SERC, Tiernan said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the practical aspects of the course. The tutors are qualified healthcare professionals with years of experience between them, so we gain practical clinical skills in college such as venepuncture (taking bloods) and catheterisation which gives us a head start for both work and further studies.”

Tiernan added: “There is excellent support, and coming to SERC has developed my confidence to progress through higher education. The HNC has opened so many routes to take me where I want to be.

“The facilities in the college are state-of-the-art and the tutors and other members of staff are friendly and extremely helpful. The learning resource team are fantastic for guiding you and nothing is too much trouble when you ask for help. The careers advisors are open to help you find solutions and discuss your options that you may not have considered.”  

Tiernan added: “I would recommend coming to SERC for further or higher education and would encourage everyone to come along to one of the open days to speak with tutors. My experience here has been phenomenal. I have made many new friends that I know I will have for life.”

SERC are currently enrolling for a 20-week NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) course, fully funded under the Department for the Economy’s SKILL UP commencing September at Downpatrick Campus. 

The course is designed to prepare students for roles in nursing homes and residential care. Visit:

or for further information.