How to be a parent, work part-time and study nursing
Mum-of-three Claire Mugford is now working on the trauma and orthopaedics ward at Princess of Wales Hospital.
"I used to work for a travel agency but the industry went downhill when people started their holidays booking online so I decided to look for an alternative career.
"After the birth of my second child, I made the decision to return to college. I did an access to nursing, and then applied to university to study Adult Nursing.
"USW is an amazingly supportive university and this is the main reason I chose USW over Swansea, which is actually just down the road from me.
"USW just fitted the bill in every way: the tutors were fantastic and facilities second to none.
"I was all set to leave my support worker job to start Uni when one of the tutors encouraged me to keep it. I saw the sense in this – I wouldn’t need to worry about money, plus I really loved my job. The hardest part was being on placement for 37.5 hours and then having to do 20 - 23 hours in work!
"Being a student parent is great as you can study alongside your kids. And I think it helped me be a better nurse too. Being a parent helps you understand and empathise with others as most parents have encountered an A&E department with their kids.
"We are an incredibly close family and this made balancing the whole work-and-study experience easier. I am the first person in our family to go to University, and everyone is so proud of me.
"After seeing me achieve my dream, my eldest daughter decided she would like to study nursing too. She’s currently taking an Access to Nursing course and has already applied to USW for 2019. Reach for the stars, kiddo!
"I would encourage anyone with kids not to be put off studying nursing. People used to say to me ‘I could never do what you do’ but it’s only for three years, it’s not forever.
"If you want it enough, it can be done."