Beth Carmichael is a Bachelor of Science, Nursing student in Cape Breton University’s Advanced Standing Program, but her educational journey has proven that it’s okay to stray from the norm. In 2018, Beth who already holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Health Sciences, Public Health degree from Cape Breton University decided to make a shift in her career and enrolled in the Nursing program as a mature student. Beth had been working as a public health inspector for seven years and more recently also ran a construction business with her husband.
After her father was diagnosed with a terminal illness, Beth was struck by the kindness offered by the nurses who took care of him during this tough time. “I saw how much they cared for my father and our family. They were there for us every step of the journey,” Beth explains. “I felt a deep connection to his nurses and knew I wanted to join them. I wanted to help people the way they helped my family during such a difficult time.”
Choosing CBU was easy for Beth, a proud CBU Alumna raising her two children on the Island. She says she already loved the atmosphere and community at the University but was excited by the changes as well. “There has been exciting growth happening here at CBU,” she says. “Which has translated into exciting things in Sydney and all over Cape Breton. I wanted to be part of that.”
As a mature student, Beth did have some worries before making the jump back to school. “What would it be like going back to university with a young family? Would I be the oldest person in my class? Would I be judged for changing careers later in life?” She asked herself. “Now that I’m doing it, I wish I could go back in time and tell myself not to worry about any of that.”
Beth’s advice for those considering a career change or thinking about becoming a mature university student is to follow your dreams. “It’s never too late! If you are passionate about something you should do it,” says Beth. “Otherwise you’ll always wonder ‘what if?’ And CBU is the perfect place to chase those dreams.” Beth says her experience has taught her that people can do anything they set their minds to, no matter how difficult it may seem. “Returning to full-time education was both the bravest and best thing I’ve ever done,” says Beth. “And I know my Dad would be so proud of me.”