Graduation tales: 'I am proud of my achievements'

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Sue was invited to speak at the Senedd on adult learning

It might have taken her close on 40 years to achieve her dream, but Sue Brice from Newport is finally getting the qualification for the job she’s always wanted.

That’s because the 55-year-old is this month graduating from the University of South Wales (USW) with a degree in Mental Health Nursing.

It’s been a lot of effort for Sue, but she’s glad that she stuck at it.

“I knew in my teens that working with people with these invisible illnesses for me.  In hindsight, I should have enrolled on my nurse training then,” she said.

“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.”

Since finishing her studies, Sue has been invited by Agored Cymru - the awarding body for education and training providers in Wales - to speak at the Senedd on the topic of adult learning and nursing, as well as being nominated for the Royal College of Nursing’s Nurse of the Year award.

Sue has been offered several jobs for the NHS but, unfortunately, hasn’t been able to take them up as she cares for her mum and cannot work night shifts. She currently works for the Aneurin Bevan nursing bank in Ebbw Vale, working towards her preceptorship, which will allow her to continue bank nursing in a wider area, fitting shifts around her carer responsibilities.

Sue would like to work in CAMHS - Children & Adolescent Metal Health Services.

“Ideally, I’d like to work on a ward and feel part of a team,” she said.

“The students in my cohort became like a family that helped each other through whatever life has threw at us during these three years of study.

“It wasn’t always easy to balance work and study but I am proud of my achievements, and would encourage anyone thinking about it to go for it.”

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