A proud mother and daughter have graduated on the same day after studying together on the same university course.
Kirstie Tidy and her daughter Kayleigh sat in the same adult nursing classes as they pursued the same vocation despite being born 23 years apart.
And their achievement was even more poignant as Kayleigh’s decision to pursue a career in nursing was motivated by the care her gran received after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Both Kayleigh, 22, and Kirstie, 45, attended classes at Edinburgh Napier University and also studied at home in Livingston, West Lothian.
Kirstie joked that husband Steven, and her other child, Logan, aged 16, faced a “challenge” of having two stressed students studying for exams at the same time.
Former insurance worker Kirstie said it was a “lifetime ambition” to work in the care sector.
The mum-of-two said: “We spent time together in classes during practicals and have often been confused with each other due to us having the same initials – sometimes resulting in one of our names being removed as it looked like a duplication.
“Many of the staff were unaware we were related.
“We studied separately and chose different subjects to write about, but it must have been quite challenging for my husband Steven and 16-year-old son Logan, having two stressed-out students in the house studying for exams at the same time.
“Both myself and Kayleigh are now trying to secure placements to launch our careers.
“This is a lifetime ambition of mine as I have always wanted to help others and now, here I am in my forties, finally taking the plunge.
“We are both looking forward to fulfilling nursing careers.”
The mother and daughter, jokingly referred to as ‘Team Tidy’, enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing course in September 2015.
Kayleigh decided to go into adult nursing after being impressed by the care her grandmother received after being diagnosed with cancer.
But for her mother, who had not been in formal education since leaving school, the university course was preceded by an access course at Edinburgh College.
Kayleigh said: “My friends were shocked that my mother was on the same course and people were curious about how we got on.
“Like a typical mother and daughter, we do get on together.
“We both got stressed round about exam times but it has been good to share the stress with someone who knows exactly what the issues are and what you are going through.”
They travelled to the Sighthill campus together from West Lothian, but had made their own friends during their studies.
Emma Trotter, personal development tutor to both mother and daughter, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to work with the fantastic Team Tidy.
“From quite early on I was aware of the strong bond between mum and daughter in their support for each other to achieve their individual and shared goals.
“They have a shared determination to make a difference to the lives of the people they care for.
“They both have a fantastic future ahead of them and I feel proud to have played a small part in their nursing journey. Well done girls.”
Also celebrating at the ceremony in Usher Hall were sisters Kerri Russell and Colene Flannigan, who graduated from Edinburgh Napier University’s nursing programmes.
The siblings completed degrees in learning disability nursing and mental health nursing respectively.