Dad’s cancer battle inspires Coventry mum to make New Year leap and start her nursing journey at Coventry University

Chantel Ward

Chantel Ward

University news / Student news

Wednesday 20 December 2023

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This time last year Coventry mum Chantel Ward felt her life was going in the wrong direction until she decided “New Year, New Me” and signed up to start her nursing journey at Coventry University.

The mum of three started her Adult Nursing degree in January 2023 after being inspired by the nurses who helped her dad George through his prostate cancer battle during the Covid pandemic.

Her dad has since fully recovered and, as the 47-year-old completes her first year of studying after more than two decades working for an engineering company, a baby clinic and then as a child minder, she is hopeful she can help make a difference to other families, just as the staff at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust did for her family.

It was a case of New Year, new beginning.

My dad had been diagnosed with cancer, I had been married for 20 years and I felt like my life was going in the wrong direction.

I wanted to do something for myself, to achieve something and that is why I decided to start this journey.

The treatment my dad received was second to none. It spurred me on to join the NHS and hopefully achieve what the staff achieved with my dad and make a difference.

Chantel Ward, Coventry University Adult Nursing student

Chantel’s eldest son also started his higher education journey in September, and she says age is not a barrier to education.

Going back into education, maths was my biggest fear, but I’ve overcome that now through support from the university.

I’ve found that age does not come into it at all. Everyone on the nursing course is all on the same journey. We all come from different walks of life, have our ups and downs, and we support each other.

It has been a rough ride for me in my personal life but I'm here, I'm doing my nursing degree and making my family proud.

Chantel Ward, Coventry University Adult Nursing student

Chantel is currently on placement on the respiratory wards at UHCW and shared her advice to anyone thinking of pursuing a career in nursing.

If anyone wants to go into nursing, I think the key skills they will need are effective communication, empathy, listening and being a caring person. The people you are caring for are in an environment that no-one wants to be in. So you need to make it as comfortable as possible for them.

My advice to anyone thinking about going into nursing or making a change this New Year is simple - do it. Surround yourself with supportive people and just do it.

Chantel Ward, Coventry University Adult Nursing student

Start your nursing journey at Coventry University this January.