Single parent “can do” mum rewarded with adult nursing degree

Natasha Lewis has overcome immensely difficult personal circumstances to qualify as a nurse and she will be rewarded when she collects her BSc Nursing Adult degree from Swansea University at the award ceremony at the Great Hall, Bay Campus today.

On commencement of her training Natasha was a single parent to Luke with little in the way of support. Through a combination of crèche, school and the goodwill of her family and friends she completed her first year.

Natasha Lewis During this time she met David, her now fiancée, who is a soldier. David is stationed in Scotland and during their time together has seen active service in Afghanistan on two occasions. He is regularly away for extended periods. In March 2014 Natasha fell pregnant and continued to cope with College, parenthood and placement. She had a difficult pregnancy, worsened by worry about David serving abroad. She made it to her final management placement before stopping to have Dion who is now 18 months old.

While on maternity leave Natasha, 28 years old from Swansea, continued to work hard and completed academic assignments. She returned to complete her final placement after 6 months maternity leave and gained a 2:1.

Throughout all her training Natasha has always shown a positive ‘can do’ attitude which has been commented on not only in University but also on her placements. Reports back from practice, talk about a professional, approachable, knowledgeable and empathetic nurse who always puts the patient first and will go the extra mile.

Since qualifying Natasha has begun work in ITU and is excelling. She is due to get married 2 days after graduating in the Oxwich Bay before moving to Yorkshire to be based with David and her boys.

Speaking about her experience training for her degree Natasha said: ” I strongly believe that if you want something enough there is always a way but the degree has taught me that it involves a lot of determination through trail and error to get it right.

From day one on the access course (Which seems a lifetime ago now) the journey was bumpy and many times I felt it would be easier to give up and settle for something I wouldn't have to work so hard for, however that was not what I wanted. It was during those times I would push myself to work harder - resulting in a place at Swansea University.

“I love the fact I got to study in a city I have grown up in and love. The university is situated right on the beach and surrounded by numerous parks, which is a fundamental quality for a student to be able to unwind, study or socialise with friends. Overall the experience has been a challenge but amazing to say the least.

“The support and understanding was outstanding through the difficult times, which I will be eternally grateful for. I have met many lecturers and nurses through my journey who have been massive inspirations in terms of encouragement to excel and gain the most from my nursing career. So, as I start my new life in Yorkshire I will be sure to remember not only all the advice given by many but qualities I've admired by a number of individuals professionally. “