A soldier turned police officer is now beginning his third career, having re-trained as a nurse.
Mark Smith graduates from the University of Worcester today, more than 30 years after he first set out in his working life.
“I joined the Army at 16 and served in Commando forces worldwide,” said the 53-year-old, from Lydney in Gloucestershire. “I served in Northern Ireland on a bomb disposal team and then I joined Gloucestershire Police in 1991 working in various roles, including police diver, drug squad detective, custody sergeant and hostage negotiator I retired in 2015 as a sergeant stationed in Gloucester.”
He continued: “When I was coming up for retirement I thought I had a lot left to give and had experienced inequalities in society and thought nursing would allow me to make a small difference in peoples’ lives.”
Mark, a father and grandfather, decided to join the University of Worcester’s Adult Nursing programme and hasn’t looked back since.
“The University was really supportive from the very start and the course, although tough, was fantastic,” he said.
“Since completing the course I have taken up a role as a Community Staff Nurse with the Wye Valley Trust. I had completed placements in this role and have found visiting and treating people in their own homes challenging and rewarding.”
Mark said he was looking forward to today’s graduation. “It gives me an opportunity to treat my wife to a nice day out,” he said. “I think that although I completed the course my wife had to make sacrifices and put up with my anxieties and I would not have managed it without her.
“I have a short career ahead of me in nursing compared to others in my cohort I just hope I can continue to learn and develop as a community nurse.”