AN ASPIRING lawyer from Hereford has been shortlisted for a national award after a visit to a friend in hospital turned her career plans upside-down.

Former Whitecross and Hereford Sixth Form student Beth Taylor was so moved by the experience that she decided to return to university to retrain as a mental health nurse.

The 25-year-old is now set to graduate as a nurse in her second degree from the University of West London after turning her back on a career in law to care for others in need.

With no doubts about her decision, she is delivering specialist mental health care across west London and has even created a unique therapeutic tool for people with emotionally unstable personality disorder.

After coming up with the idea as part of her dissertation, she is now working with an NHS Trust to implement it in healthcare, with her efforts seeing her shortlisted in this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards.

Beth, who has also had her own mental health difficulties, said: “I want to use my own experiences to help show others that it is possible to recover and there is always hope.

“I was studying law when I visited a friend on a mental health ward. I had never been in an environment like that before, but I was so impressed with how she was treated and the care she was receiving. I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Beth finished her law degree at UWL before instantly enrolling to study Mental Health Nursing where she has been able to make the most of experienced teaching staff, a variety of placements, and world-class simulation facilities to prepare her for the wards.  

Now ready to graduate as a registered nurse, she said: “Having that first degree does help as I was ready for the academic side of things, and I know I want to stay engaged with education even once I finish, maybe supporting student nurses on the wards.”