Ashly was born and grew up in Kerala, India. She completed her Nursing Degree at Kerala University in 2015 where she spent 2 years, before moving to Wales in 2017. As her mother was a nurse, it was a natural progression for Ashly to follow her into the profession. However, she felt that her career opportunities were not being met and were limiting her desire to progress. She followed her dreams of working in another country and moved to Wales, where she is now fulfilling her nursing ambitions.
“I am currently working in Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales where I care for the elderly on an acute ward. Here I undertake shift work and take charge of the clinical area, with responsibility for all the patients, while also interacting with a lot of healthcare professionals including social workers, occupational therapists and physios, to ensure the best care is achieved. I am hopeful that I will soon be able to achieve a big career goal of mine and apply for a band 6 position, as a Nurse Practitioner. The Health Board I work for is incredibly supportive and even helps us achieve the necessary qualifications to have a specialised goal, which is such a great thing to have. I’ve had the opportunity to do so much here, that I wouldn’t have had the chance to do otherwise.
“The opportunities for professional growth are something I really appreciate. In NHS Wales, the managers and everyone on the team encourage you to move forward and give you all the help, confidence and guidance you could possibly need.
“There have been challenges of course, particularly during the Covid pandemic as it was a very worrying period. My family were concerned and wanted me to return to India. But I am proud to say that I stayed with my patients during this difficult, stressful time and provided the proper professional treatment required, helping lots of patients who were ill.
“I had never heard of Wales before I moved here and thought the UK was just England. But once I attended an interview, I Googled Wales and discovered what an amazing country it is. I saw what a safe, welcoming, and beautiful place it was. I would have to say I think coming to Wales was the best decision I have ever made in my life.
“It isn’t just the amazing scenery and history that I loved, it is how welcoming and friendly everyone has been. When I first arrived, I was given a “nurse educator” who showed us where to buy groceries, how to set up bank accounts and even arranged staff accommodation. Everyone on the team was so supportive and kind - not just professionally, but personally also.
“I currently live in a town called Merthyr Tydfil, which is a really nice place. The great thing about Wales is that it is not so overcrowded as other parts of the UK. I really enjoy the calm and quiet places that I get to experience. I also love to travel and have visited some beautiful areas of Wales such as Tenby and Cardiff. There is such a variety of life here, whether you enjoy modern city living or getting out in nature, Wales has everything!
“While the cost-of-living crisis is something that is affecting everyone, living in Wales costs a lot less than compared to other parts of the UK, especially when you look at the cost of rent and buying your own home. I have found it so much easier to settle down in Wales and make my own home for my family and children. I have many friends working in other parts of the UK who are suffering with high costs and expenses. After talking to my nursing friends, lots of them are now planning on moving to Wales as their wage can go a lot further here, which will allow them to enjoy the kind of life they deserve.
“I have also talked to many of my friends from back in Kerala, passing on my local knowledge of Welsh hospitals and the different areas of Wales. Many of them have since attended the same interview I did and are looking forward to coming to here! I genuinely believe that if anyone is planning on moving to the UK, Wales is the best option – whether you are going to bring your family over with you or plan to start a family after moving here, Wales is the best place to do it, while also enjoying a great work/life balance.”