Returning to education is one of the best decisions I have made

David Longden, Ault Nursing

David is studying Adult Nursing at USW.

"The prospect of returning to higher education at 38 was extremely daunting, but it remains one of the best decisions I have made to date. 

"Before pursuing nursing my background was in performing arts having graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I enjoyed a career touring in musicals and opera in the UK and abroad but always felt something was missing.

As a self-employed performer, there are periods between contracts where you need alternative employment to support yourself. These jobs varied from bar work, a singing waiter at Cardiff Castle and even a short-term contract as cabin crew for British Airways worldwide fleet.

"It was during another period between contracts that I became a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and absolutely loved it! Gaining this experience sparked a real passion for a caring profession and this led me to pursue nursing as an option. I decided to study Adult nursing as I wanted a general nursing foundation which would enabled a broad scope for my future nursing career. 

"USW has a very supportive culture and the support I have received as a dyslexic student has been superb.

"The course is challenging being split 50% in University and 50% on clinical placement but so worth all the hard work. I have particularly enjoyed putting the theory acquired in university into practice under the guidance and expertise of my mentors and then consolidating this learning via reflection. 

"My proudest moment was receiving my first job offer as staff nurse at A & E and I can’t wait to graduate and get started! I love the fast pace of emergency and critical care and intend to pursue further post-graduate studies in this field. 

"To be nominated for an student excellence award was also lovely. It’s always nice for have positive feedback, but to have a family member email the Chief Executive of Cwm Taf Health Board outlining the high standard of nursing care I give to their family member was an extremely proud moment!

"Being a student nurse is like being on a rollercoaster! There are highs and lows, it can be physically and mentally challenging but I have loved the ride and look forward to my future nursing career in this amazing and extremely rewarding profession."