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Nursing Careers For All 'Experience Day'

10 December 2012

On Saturday 1st December, a group of young people from Butetown and Grangetown made their way to Cardiff University as part of an 'experience day' held by the Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies' Widening Participation project, Nursing Careers For All. 

The group consisted of eight girls who have been actively involved in the Nursing Careers For All project. All members of the group were from Loudoun Square youth club in Butetown, Cardiff, and while some have left school and are now not in employment, education or training, others are doing A-Levels. 

Nursing Careers for All - prospective nursing students enjoy an Experience Day

The girls visited the University Hospital of Wales in order to see some of the University's state of the art facilities, including the new Cochrane library and the School’s Clinical Simulation Suite at Ty Dewi Sant. They also had the opportunity to tour the Children’s Hospital on site. They then had a session in the University's Health Library, situated in the impressive new Cochrane Building.

Ali Abdi, the Senior Youth Worker from the area, accompanied the students on their visit. Ali believes that this kind of visit is invaluable - “It opens their eyes to the possibility of what is out there,” said Ali, who combines his role as Senior Youth Worker with that of Learning Coach in Careers Wales. Indeed, one participant was so inspired by the visit they remarked, “I’ve got to work hard in order to come to Cardiff now."

The experience day was part of the Nursing Careers for All project run by Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies,  a widening participation project focused on engaging those who are under-represented in Higher Education - those with the capacity, but not necessarily the opportunities, to attend university and go on to realize a fulfilling career in nursing or midwifery and other health care related professions. “Many of those that came to this event had never anticipated Cardiff University being within their reach,” said Ali Abdi. “I was thrilled to see the enthusiasm of the young people already thinking as far ahead as university when they have only just started their A-Levels."

Nursing Careers for All - a group of prospective students enjoy an Experience Day

Since the commencement of the project, Nursing Careers for All has reached over 150  young people from some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Wales. Current nursing and midwifery students volunteer as mentors, offering those involved a chance to be supported both face-to-face and through e-mentoring, building the capacity and confidence of participants to make successful applications and to realize their potential for a fulfilling future career.

Many of the sessions are delivered in local schools or community settings, and the project has been developing close partnerships with colleagues from across the University including  LEARN, Widening Access & Student Recruitment and the School of Healthcare Studies to maximize the opportunities for the potential students.

Sarah Fotheringham, Nursing Careers for All Project Manager, said: "Working with local schools and community groups at a deeper level  allows for greater understanding of what is mutually beneficial for the university and the schools and embeds Widening Participation as a core principle for all  parties.” 

To learn more about the project, click here.