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Case Studies of Past Students

Photo of ex-student Sarah Trzcinski

"I was attracted to study at Cardiff due to its high profile among university league tables - especially within nursing.

My experience within the School was fantastic. I received copious amounts of support from my personal tutor and the wider academic staff. I took an active role in the School, acting as student representative for my class, which enabled me to support my peers throughout the course. I have also supported the School at a number of Open Days, Welcome talks and Summer Schools. These activities have greatly aided my communication skills, which are absolutely key for nurses. The facilities within the school include the new Cochrane library and Caerleon Clinical Skills Suite, which are superb.

My favourite part of studying has been the people I have met over the last three years - definite friends for life. My placements have also been fantastic and enabled me to develop my nursing skills so that I am ready to qualify.

Cardiff is a fantastic place to live with an excellent town centre and night life. I secured a number of part-time jobs through the Students’ Union and Unistaff Jobshop, which is a fantastic programme run by the university to secure part-time work for students. These work opportunities have enhanced my skills in problem solving and customer service.

My confidence in caring for children and their families over the last three years has greatly developed alongside my teamwork and communications skills. I have secured a full-time nursing post as a Children’s nurse at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, which I feel prepared for and I am greatly looking forward to."

- Sarah Trzcinski, former Child Nursing student


"I previously worked as an office manager but the thought of changing careers and going back to university was quite a daunting prospect.  Although experience is not essential working as a nursing auxiliary gave me a valuable insight into what would be expected of me as a student nurse and I would recommend that prospective students consider gaining some care work experience before starting the course.

School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies has an excellent reputation and as a previous graduate of Cardiff University and a local resident it was the natural choice for me.  Cardiff is an exciting and vibrant city that I am proud to call home.

The course can be very demanding at times and does require a high level of commitment and motivation from its students.  However, it is extremely rewarding and I am looking forward to becoming a qualified nurse.  I hope to remain within the Cardiff and Vale area after I graduate."

- Violet Etheridge, former Adult Nursing student

I really enjoy being a student at Cardiff University. I have made some fabulous friends within my group, and from other areas of the university. The camaraderie and support structure forged between the students and encouraged by the tutors is invaluable throughout the three years.

Being in my third year, I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone since I started. My favourite aspects of the course have been the practical placements. I really enjoy the way of working that is involved in mental health; it's all about making relationships and building trust. 

I have met some amazing people, both staff and service users, from wide diverse backgrounds, and each had a different life story to tell. The academic staff are great, and my personal tutor is very supportive. 

The facilities are really good at the Heath Park Campus. My best tip would be to use every facility available to you, including reams of information the librarians have.

In the future I plan to work with children and adolescents in mental health, after a few years in an adult inpatient setting. I am aware that the first year as a qualified nurse is an intense learning curve and I am optimistic that working initially in an inpatient setting will firmly reinforce all I have learnt whilst in University.

My advice to anyone thinking of applying to be a mental health nurse would be do it. It is an amazing opportunity to work with some really fascinating people from very vulnerable parts of our society.

- Alison Marshall, former Mental Health Nursing student

Heather Naish, graduate of the Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies

"I am proud to have been a student at Cardiff University. I had experience of caring previously, but the knowledge I have gained and taken into practice from university is amazing. For this programme you must be prepared to undertake new challenges and meet them with an open mind. Cardiff is an outstanding university; it allows students to develop; the tutors and staff are extremely helpful."

- Heather Naish, former Adult Nursing student

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenging three years of my direct entry midwifery training programme, which although I have found it hard work, with a young family, it has been the most rewarding experience. I now wish to consolidate my training by working in the local hospital with the aim to becoming a community midwife."

- Niki Rhys-Jones, former Midwifery student

Jade graduated from Cardiff University in 2006. Since graduating she has been working at Ty Hafan children's hospice in Sully as a children's nurse. Ty Hafan specialises in palliative care and providing respite for children with life limiting conditions.

Jade found the course very demanding but the rewards invaluable. "Being at a teaching hospital, the opportunities and experiences that are offered are vast and with placements in all areas of nursing, many students discover their preferred specialist area of practice. The university is endowed with exceptional teaching staff that provides support throughout to give students the best start to their future career. Cardiff is a very popular city with students; it is relatively inexpensive with some great attractions that will suit all needs. For those who enjoy a healthy night life there are countless bars within Cardiff and the Bay, some of which have 'Medics Night' and for those who enjoy the outdoors, Brecon Beacons National Park is only a 45-minute drive from Cardiff. During the three years of the programme, Jade had met some extraordinary people in the healthcare setting and created endearing long-term friendships.

Prior to commencing the course if possible, it would be very beneficial to arrange a work experience or a meeting with the appropriate health professionals to gain an insight of the job requirements from persons currently working within the health sector.

While the course is very demanding, a truly dedicated person will appreciate the true rewards of making a difference to a child and their family's lives".

For the immediate future, Jade aims to begin preparing to become shift leader at the hospice and would then life to enrol in further professional development such as a Masters programme to become a specialist nurse in the palliative care domain.

- Jade Eynon, former Children's Nursing student