My age and life skills are an asset

Sue Brice - Mental Health Nursing student

Sue Brice from Newport is studying Mental Health Nursing. After qualifying, she hopes to work in CAMHS (Children & Adolescent Metal Health Services).

"You could say Mental Health nursing chose me. In the 70s, a close friend of mine had a breakdown whilst studying for their exams.

I visited them in the local mental health hospital and found myself chatting to the other patients. I knew then that working with people with these invisible illnesses was for me.  In hindsight, I should have enrolled on my nurse training then!

Still, I’ve got there in the end! I qualify this year at the grand young age of 55 and I have enjoyed everything that has come my way. 

It hasn’t been easy. Balancing work and study has been a struggle, especially as I have had to work part time and be a carer to my mum. But with a time plan and support it has been achievable.

The students in my cohort have been a lifeline. We have become like a family that has helped each other through whatever life has thrown at us during these three years.

The academic support has been amazing too. You are allocated a personal tutor who is always at the end of an email, telephone or in their office, and their door is always open.

I have really enjoyed my nurse training, especially the sessions in the Clinical Simulation Centre. It felt a bit odd at first talking to a mannequin but when it responds back, it becomes a patient. 

While working as a student ambassador at Open Days, I am often approached by visitors and asked what it’s like returning to study at my age. My response is that as a mature student - especially in nursing – your age and life skills are an asset. Be proud of it."


Related content: Visit our next Open Day to find out more about studying Mental Health Nursing | Support for mature students