A FORMER printer has gone back to his old place of learning to begin a new career in nursing just days before his 50th birthday.
David Easton worked for a number of firms after completing a qualification in printing at the then-Napier College for three years in the eighties, but was forced to rethink his career plans after being made redundant three times – including once on Christmas Eve.
However, David is now preparing to begin his first hospital role in an endoscopy unit after he celebrated graduating with a Bachelor of Nursing (Adult) degree at the University.
Dad-of-two David, of Lasswade, Midlothian, said: “I am really looking forward to the challenge. I had always thought nursing would be an enjoyable career because of the way you are helping people caught up in what can be distressing situations.
“Male nursing was not a popular choice of career when I first left school, although I was always involved with first aid in my role as a printer when there were workplace accidents.”
He added: “However, I am proud of the way I progressed through to university, which was on a different scale compared to my Napier College days, even though I was miles out of my comfort zone among students half my age.”
David, who celebrates his 50th birthday later this month, helped transform the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre’s weekly paper into a full colour title and also had stints at the Scottish County Press, Johnston Press in Falkirk, Summerhall Press in Edinburgh and Scotprint at Haddington.
But the rapid decline of the print trade meant he had to pursue fresh challenges.
He said: “My last days in the industry were spent in a variety of large and small companies that were struggling to keep their heads above water and it was evident that the strain was affecting people, both physically and mentally.”
David had been hugely impressed by the healthcare staff who guided his partner through a difficult second pregnancy and a separate serious illness, and after completing a variety of different courses following the 2008 financial slump, eventually chose nursing as his next career.
He said: “University has taught me the fundamental qualities you need to care for people. The facilities at Edinburgh Napier’s Sighthill campus were first class, and the lecturers sometimes amazed me with their knowledge.
David added: “Hopefully, I now have a career which will see me through to retirement and allow me to provide for my family’s future.”
Ailsa Sharp, the university’s programme leader, said: “David’s success highlights the potential in nursing for developing your career in a variety of roles. Having mature students on the programme, sharing life experience, knowledge and skills with other students, enhances the student experience and helps develop compassionate, caring professionals.”