A carer from Anglesey is following a long held tradition as she becomes the latest in a line of dedicated women in her family to go into nursing.
Nerys Parry, 50, a mum of four children aged from 11 to 28, is thrilled to be one of five candidates from Pendine Park’s Bryn Seiont Newydd care home in Caernarfon, who are about to embark on a four-year long Open University degree course in adult nursing.
For Nerys, who lives in Llandegfan, the decision to go into medicine was inspired by her love of her job as a clinical care practitioner at Bryn Seiont Newydd, where she has worked for three years.
She is proud to be following in the career footsteps of other key members of her family including her late mum, Mair Parry, who was a much respected local nurse.
She said: “Caring for people just runs in our family. It must be in our genes.”
In addition, Nerys has a twin sister, Nesta Jones, who is also a carer at Bryn Seiont which is a centre of excellence for dementia care.
Pendine Park is supporting the five mature students from Caernarfon and four from their care homes in Wrexham through their Open University courses as part of its ongoing programme of investment in staff development and training.
The staff are committed to working as nurses with Pendine Park upon obtaining their qualifications.
The move is aimed at shoring up the level of skills excellence in the North Wales social care sector and helping to address a nationwide shortage of nurses.
Bryn Seiont Newydd care practitioner Christopher Jones, 39, said he feels his place on the degree course honours his mum Jill Jones who is also a nurse.
He said: “I am just over the moon to be on the course, not least because it is a credit to all I have learned watching mum over the years.
“She has been a massive inspiration to me my whole life and if I can achieve this nursing degree it will be a tribute to all the help and support she has given me.”
Married with four children aged from two to 17, Christopher, who lives in Porthmadog, has worked at Bryn Seiont Newydd since it opened in 2015.
He said: “I started as a carer and worked my way up to become a clinical care practitioner. Mum supported me through that and I know she’ll be proud as punch if I can eventually obtain my nursing degree.”
The other three candidates on the course are Andrew Roberts, Sarah Hughes and Laura Bach.
Father-of-four Andrew, 35, of Rhostryfan, is passionate about his job as a clinical care practitioner and looking forward to stepping up into a nursing role.
He said: “We know there will be challenges ahead but we have the solid support of our managers and fellow staff and we are lucky to have already worked in such a high standard care environment and observed the nursing staff on our team in action.
“All of us are greatly excited about the training to come and the chance to acquire new skills.”
Andrew added: “We will have to set aside some study time at home which will involve a lot of self-discipline, especially having young children, but our families are 100 per cent behind us on this and they know what an amazing career opportunity it is.”
Mum of two, Sarah Hughes, 30, of y Felinheli, agreed it will be a careful balancing act combining their work roles, intense studying and family life.
But she said: “The rewards will be worth it in the end. It is a great chance for us career wise and a natural step up from our roles as carers.
“It has been a long-held ambition of mine to train as a nurse and I am so grateful to Pendine Park for having faith in me and giving us the chance to do this.”
Bryn Seiont Newydd manager Sandra Evans was confident all five candidates had the ability to gain degrees in adult nursing.
She said: “I am delighted that we have such strong individuals, who are all passionate about their jobs and extremely capable of undertaking this course.
“As a company Pendine Park gives them all the support possible and once they are qualified it will strengthen what is already a top class team here at Bryn Seiont Newydd.”
Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE said staff training has always been a top priority for the company which employs more than 800 people in six care homes in Caernarfon and Wrexham.
In addition to the five staff undertaking Open University courses in Bryn Seiont Newydd, another four staff members from Pendine Park’s care homes in Summerhill, Wrexham, will also be supported through degree courses.
Mr Kreft said: “As a nation we face a serious shortage of nurses and medical professionals. We must do everything possible to address that situation.
“Investment in staff development is essential to the success of any organisation and particularly in the social care sector.
“That’s why we are proud to be able to support those members of our team about to embark on their Open University nursing qualifications courses.”