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Nurse gets her degree.

Byline: Chloe Glover News Reporter

A TALENTED Fenay Bridge mother has proved age is no barrier to finding a new career after gaining a first class honours degree in mental health nursing from Huddersfield University.

It is just another string to the bow of Laura Washington, 37, who decided to follow her dream after several years of globe-trotting following completion of her first degree in psychology.

Juggling three years of study between raising her two children, she amazed tutors by gaining very high marks of 86.17% over her final two years and a final classification of first class honours.

She is now working in a psychiatric intensive care unit in Wakefield.

Taking on the degree was no easy feat for Laura, who found the essential work placements involving patients with severe behavioural problems a 'massive shock to the system.'.

She also worked with dementia sufferers and in community health care settings.

It was certainly a notable change from her previous jobs, which included office work in Australia, but follows on well from her first degree in psychology.

Laura, who is married, was amongst the top five students to graduate this November and is now relishing the daily challenges her job brings, said: "I'd always been interested in becoming a mental health nurse, but life just kept getting in the way.

"It was a massive shock to the system, but I thought, if I can get through this I can get through most things."

Commenting on her new job, in which she works with people who are extremely ill, she said: "It's a locked unit and the patients are under section and some are aggressive.

"I was nervous before starting there, but it has gone really well and I really like it.

"We are a big team, so I feel completely safe.

"Some of the patients will have their illnesses for the rest of their lives, but we can certainly make them better than they are."

Other fields of mental health nursing, such as early intervention and psychotherapy, are other areas that Laura might consider in the future.

She added: "I came into it quite late, but I would say to anybody - give it a go."

Laura Washington who has gained a first class honours degree

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2014
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