Jade Silver is a Learning Disabilities Nursing graduate from the University of South Wales. Previously Jade worked as a Staff Nurse at a local Assessment and Treatment Unit in Cwmbran, and she now works as a Community nurse at Newport Community Learning Disability Team, in Newport, South Wales. Flexibility to continue studying as part of her job means that Jade has a clear vision of how she wants her career to progress
“I’m so glad I decided to stay here in Wales to start my nursing career. The support and encouragement I’ve received every step of the way has been second to none. At university I was constantly encouraged to take on extra-curricular activities, such as networking with peers from across the UK, to support my course work. Nominations from peers during my local health board clinical placement, helped me achieve: - runner-up in the Royal College of Nursing Wales Student Nurse of the Year Awards 2015; recognition in the Nursing Times Rising Star Awards 2015; and Best Practice Award in the regional heats of the UK Strengthening the Commitment annual conference. The work which was being recognised, is an accessible and easy read guide to care and treatment planning for people with learning disabilities, which I developed as part of project work during my course.
"I graduated with a Learning Disabilities Nursing degree in 2015 and gained immediate employment with the same health board, where I had previously enjoyed my clinical placements. They have continued to support my studies at Master’s level. My first role was as a Staff Nurse, working with adults with learning disabilities at a local assessment and treatment unit, it was both challenging and rewarding - no two days were the same. I’d get involved with patients at the point of crisis, to assess their situation and develop, through care planning, action plans to support their continued wellbeing and social inclusion within the local community.
"I now work as a Community Nurse supporting people with learning disabilities in their own home. My role involves a mixture of working and supporting the service user’s themselves, their families, and staff teams. I undertake assessments, risk assess and write care plans relating to behaviours that challenge, epilepsy, mental illness etc. There are also elements of teaching as part of this role, such as teaching a service user anxiety or anger management skills, family skills around managing behaviours that challenge, or teaching a staff team around the administration of epilepsy rescue medication. No day in this job is ever the same and, although it can be a very challenging role at times, it is incredibly rewarding and makes you feel you are making a difference to people’s lives.
"I have now completed my Masters’ Degree in Professional Practice (Learning Disabilities), which is something that would not have been possible without the financial, emotional, and educational support of my local health board.
"The flexibility to study while on the job means that the opportunities to develop and grow within the NHS in Wales are endless, and I fully intend to seize every opportunity to further enhance my clinical skills. My ambition is to move into a Nurse Practitioner role in the future and I have now completed my first year of the Advanced Clinical Practitioner Masters with the University of South Wales, which I have again been supported to complete by my health board.”