Kirstie and Kayleigh collect Bachelor of Nursing degrees

Date posted

1 November 2018


A mother and daughter marked a major milestone today as they graduated together from the same university course.

Kirstie and Kayleigh Tidy sat in the same adult nursing classes at Edinburgh Napier University as they pursued their career goals.

Today’s ceremony at the Usher Hall was truly a family affair as sisters Kerri Russell and Colene Flannigan also graduated from the university’s nursing programmes. The siblings completed degrees in learning disability nursing and mental health nursing respectively. 

Kirstie, 45, from Livingston, had had jobs in the insurance industry but always wanted to work in the care sector. Although she had not been in formal education since leaving school, she successfully applied for a place at the university while taking an access course at Edinburgh College.

Her daughter Kayleigh, 22, also of Livingston, decided to go into adult nursing after being hugely impressed by the care her grandmother received after being diagnosed with cancer.  Both mother and daughter began their university Bachelor of Nursing course in September 2015.

Kirstie 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 unware 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.”

Mum Kirstie behind daughter Kayleigh Tidy with hands on her shoulders, taken when Kayleigh was a child

Kayleigh said she and her mother had travelled to the university’s Sighthill campus together from West Lothian, but had made their own friends on campus.

“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.”

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 been a small part in their nursing journey. Well done girls!”