Susan Woodthorpe

First Class award for multi-tasking Susan

Swansea University student nurse Susan Woodthorpe has juggled family life, full time studies, work placements and organising a major nursing conference while still managing to achieve a first class degree.

Forty one year old Susan from Cardigan, received her First Class (Hons) in BN Nursing (Mental Health) at a Degree and Award Congregation for the College of Human and Health Sciences held at the City and County of Swansea’s Grand Theatre and was proudly watched by her husband, David and nine year old son, Thomas.

Susan, who moved to Wales 13 years ago after meeting her husband, had a degree in social sciences and had pursued a career in the army and the voluntary sector before deciding on making her profession in nursing.

As well as studying for her degree, Susan also found the time to sit on the steering group for an inter-professional World Café on mental health held last September. The event, which was funded by the Higher Education Academy and a teaching and learning grant, was for more than 100 mental health nursing and social work students. She helped research and present students’ experiences about inter-professional learning and arranged a poster display about the World Café.

Susan then presented the research from the World Café at the 19th International Network for Psychiatric Nursing and Research conference at Warwick along with service user colleagues and staff.

Susan said: “Although it was difficult to juggle full time study with family life, my husband and son have been incredibly supportive. I have also had an amazing amount of support from my fellow students and tutors who were always available to discuss any issues with me.

"Similarly, I have had the opportunity to meet some fantastic people on my work placements and who have helped me gain a great deal of experience and knowledge. I now have a job in the Therapeutic Day Service in Carmarthen and am enjoying my new career immensely.”

Julia Terry, Susan’s personal tutor said: “Susan’s commitment, enthusiasm and reliability, during a busy time in her nursing education programme, helped to keep the Café on track.

"Her imagination and abundance of ideas helped classroom discussion prior to the event in terms of planning. She was instrumental in coming up with ideas for teaching and learning activities, many of which were used on the day and worked well.”

For more information on Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences visit