Jade Silver is a Learning Disabilities Nursing graduate from the University of South Wales. She now works as a Staff Nurse at a local Assessment and Treatment Unit in Cwmbran, 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. She explains:
“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 being recognized 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 role as a staff nurse, working with adults with learning disabilities at a local assessment and treatment unit, is both challenging and rewarding - no two days are the same. I 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’m now in my third year of studying for a Masters’ Degree in Professional Practice (Learning Disabilities) which I hope to complete at the end of this year. Something which would not have been possible without the financial, emotional and education support of my local health board. The culture here is strongly embedded around staff
wellbeing and continuous professional development. My shift patterns are carefully structured to give me the flexibility I need to fit them around both my studies and my home life. And the open-door policy at work means I can confide in senior team members at any time.
“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.”