The support and encouragement from USW gave me the strength to believe in myself again

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Kelly Howell graduated from USW as an adult nurse in March 2017. She is now enjoying her role as a Health Visitor in Bridgend and hopes to one day, go back to USW, where she will complete her Masters degree. 
 
As much as I loved my role, I had always planned to go back to complete my post-graduate diploma in SCPHN-Health Visiting with USW being the only university of choice for me. 
 
I applied directly to the university and was lucky enough to be accepted onto the year long, full-time course on my first application and have not looked back since. I was seconded from my role as an adult nurse which enabled me financially, to develop as a health professional whilst being a wife and mum to four children. As a mature student living at home and raising a family, the location and hours of the uni and course was very accessible for me.  
 
As a student health visitor, I was supported through my studies giving me new skills and enhanced knowledge to fulfil my new role as a Health visitor. I spent my time between clinical placement and Uni. Clinical placement was where I was able learn to put my skills to the test in a safe environment, knowing I was always supported by my Practice teacher who continually kept close links with USW. Effective communication between the university and Clinical Placement which allowed for a seamless learning environment. 
 
Unfortunately, after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the start of my final consolidation, I had to suspend my studies for months of gruelling treatment where I was fully supported by the course leader and the university. Not only did they take the added stress out of organising everything for me, but the emotional support I also received will always be appreciated and never forgotten.  
 
At that point in my life, I didn’t know if I would ever complete my studies and accomplish my ambition of becoming a Health Visitor. The support and encouragement from USW gave me the strength to believe in myself again and re-ignited the passion I had before starting my treatment.  
 
I was supported back into clinical placement to complete my competencies and graduated in April 2020. By this time covid had hit and blended working was becoming a normal thing. We were adapting regularly to the ever-changing circumstances trying to maintain the best service possible for our families.