Two Adult Nursing students who have been friends since their first day at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are thrilled to have landed jobs together.
Even better, working in Accident & Emergency at Leicester Royal Infirmary was the first choice role for both Maria Bell and Ashleigh Whitmore.
The pals take up their full-time posts in March - and will continue to support each other as they have done throughout their three years at university.
Maria said: "We'll have similar emotions, so will understand how each other feels. It's hard to explain how intense nursing is to someone else."
Ashleigh will benefit from Maria having recently completed a placement in the A&E department. "But we've both learned different things on placement, so will be able to help each other," she said.
The pair were both attracted by the variety and fast pace of A&E and credit experience on placements along with bank work as healthcare assistants for "preparing us for employment".
Maria said: "As a newly-qualified nurse my job will give me a broad knowledge of acute care. The environment gets you used to using your initiative and working with different teams.
"It's good, exciting but a bit nerve-racking. However, my experience of working on different wards has raised my understanding."
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Both Maria and Ashleigh came to DMU as mature students.
Twenty-six-year-old Maria is glad she delayed her decision to enrol on the course, while she went travelling and worked in sales.
"I considered nursing because people kept saying I had a caring nature, but you need that bit of maturity," she said.
Ashleigh, 24, started off on a very different career path. She said: "I did a BTEC and foundation degree in business, as I wanted an office job, but when I got one I hated it.
"I wanted to be busy and do something more practical and was influenced by visiting my grandad in hospital."
The students met three years ago during the first lecture on their first day at DMU. Since then they have shared many experiences but agree on the highlight - a two-week elective placement at a public hospital in Dumaguete in the Philippines.
Spending time in the gynaecology and obstetrics ward, where there were was more than one patient to a bed and families had to bring in medicine for nurses to administer, the experience gave them an even greater appreciation of the NHS.
Maria said: "The patients were grateful for the care provided and the nurses were knowledgeable."
Ashleigh added: "It makes you resource aware and why it's so important not to waste things.
"The staff were friendly and helpful and as interested in how we do things as we were in them.
"They even invited us to their Christmas party, which was brilliant!"
Posted on Tuesday 31st January 2017