Mom who wanted to be a role model for her daughter called nursing ‘real credit’

A mom who became a nurse so she could be a role model for her young daughter has received national recognition for her work.

Melissa Young, 32, from Birkenhead, was inspired to become a nurse after the birth of her baby girl and started her degree at the University of Chester in 2019. Having worked as a medical assistant before going to university, Melissa felt compelled to gather the confidence to try nursing.

She told ECHO: “To be honest, it kind of runs in the family. My mom was a caregiver and I have two aunts who are nurses, so it’s just something I always saw growing up. I was 29 when I started my studies, so it took me a long time to gain confidence in myself.”

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Melissa added: “Before that I had been a medical assistant watching other nurses and wondering if I could do it myself. I had my daughter when I was 27 and decided that I just wanted to improve myself for her and be a role model for her. I was like, ‘I’ll give it a try and see what happens.’

Although the pandemic has put additional strain on the NHS in recent years, Melissa has found the experience of being on the frontline in such difficult circumstances very rewarding.

She said, “It’s fantastic. When you follow a patient’s journey and see it at the end, I love it. I just find it really rewarding to put my training into practice. I’m such a social person anyway, so for me, I really appreciate the social element too.

And now Melissa has won national acclaim after being named Student Nursing of the Year at this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards. The award is intended to recognize an outstanding final year student and celebrate the breadth of learning required to join the industry.

Melissa was nominated by Yvette Heatley, Senior Lecturer in Adult Critical Care, for her performance during her internship which saw her show leadership and implement change, while keeping the patient experience at the center from his work.

The 32-year-old said: “I’m really proud but I feel really lucky to be honest because our student cohort is just fantastic. Everyone supports each other and I don’t think I would be able to do what I did without them. I think because of covid too, it was almost like being in a family. I think all nursing students should be proud of the past few years because everyone has worked so hard.

Melissa also praised the support of staff at the University of Chester who helped guide her through her studies as a mature student.

Yvette, who nominated her for the award, said: “We are so proud of Melissa and all that she has accomplished. It brings honor to the University and to the nursing profession as a whole. We can’t wait to see all the amazing things she’s going to do in her career.

Melissa is now looking forward to starting her nursing career after accepting her first position as a newly qualified nurse in the community.

She told ECHO: “I’m really happy to be stuck. With a placement you have to move on every 6-12 weeks, so it will be good to put down roots and grow in the future. .”

Rebecca R. Santistevan