Welsh-speaking Aberystwyth Institution, often known as Prifysgol Aberystwyth, is a public research university. When the University of Wales was a federal institution, Aberystwyth was one of its founding members. More than 8,000 students attend the university, which is divided among its 17 departments and three academic faculties.
Aberystwyth University welcomes its first batch of nursing students.
The change has been welcomed as a significant improvement for the healthcare system, particularly in mid-Wales.
The students arrived when Health Education and Improvement Wales selected Aberystwyth University as the recipient of a contract for the nursing training of adult and mental health nurses.
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, vice chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said:
“It is wonderful to welcome our first nursing students here. Supporting the community’s needs, in close cooperation with our key stakeholders, is central to our civic mission; and starting nursing education here is an important part of that.
“This is a boost for our NHS; benefitting the recruitment and retention of nurses both locally and regionally. It also has the potential to inspire new models of healthcare delivery which will be of benefit to everyone. Our plans will also make an important contribution to enhancing mental health and Welsh-medium provision locally and beyond.
“A big thanks goes to everyone who has been a part of developing our plans. We are very grateful for the consistent support of our partners, including the local health boards and Ceredigion County Council, without whom this would not have been possible.”
Added Professor Treasure:
“Educating nurses in both adult and mental health is a crucial advancement for our expanding University. Our goal is to contribute even more to the training of healthcare professionals in the coming years. Perhaps there has never been a more crucial time to prioritise investing in the next generation of talented young people who will be in charge of ensuring our collective welfare, given everyone’s experiences over the past few years.”
With the help of several partners, including service users and caregivers, the local health boards of Hywel Dda, Betsi Cadwaladr, and Powys, nursing education at the university has been created.
Health Education and Improvement Wales’ Chris Jones stated:
“This program’s development and introduction with the university and NHS Wales has been a tremendous accomplishment, underlining the significance of delivering high-quality healthcare education in communities across Wales and expanding access. These nursing students will be prepared with the knowledge and expertise necessary to provide safe, efficient, and high-quality care to rural communities as well as to launch rewarding careers in Wales.
To advance and improve these new initiatives, we look forward to collaborating with all of our Welsh universities, NHS Wales, primary and community care, and other partners.
As a single mother and a health support worker, Caryl James from nearby Bow Street said it was never a possibility to pursue a nursing degree away from home.
“Getting a place on the course is amazing. I was chuffed. I cried when I heard I had a place,” she said.
At the town’s Bronglais Hospital, where she works as a phlebotomist and alongside nurses, Ms James said becoming a nurse had always been a goal.
But since Philip turned 18, she has been given money to pay for caregivers to take care of him.
“This is more than just a new chapter for me. I feel like it’s a new life,” she said.
“It’s just surreal to have the opportunity to do this, and it’s on my doorstep, which is amazing.”
A. Stevens “For me, this is more than just a fresh start. It feels like a fresh life to me.”
Fellow first-year student Anna Stevens, from Penrhyncoch, claimed that caring for her disabled kid while still attending school for such a degree would have been impossible.
Being a nurse, according to Ms Stevens, who also has a daughter in secondary school, would be a chance for her to give back to the community that has supported her.
She remarked, “I feel like this is my chance to give back, to donate to my community, and to also change people’s lives.”
The institution, with the majority of its students coming from the area, has been given the contract by Health Education and Improvement Wales, which supports NHS Wales’ organisations.
In an effort to expand the number of Welsh speakers in the health and care sectors, about half of the students are Welsh speakers who will be able to complete a portion of their nursing degree in Welsh.
“This is a boost for our NHS, benefitting the recruitment and retention of nurses both locally and regionally,” said university vice-chancellor Prof Elizabeth Treasure.