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Father and son attend university together to pursue career in mental health nursing

A father and son are both currently studying Mental Health Nursing together at Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Adrian and Kacper Dzialo
Adrian and Kacper Dzialo are both studying Mental Health Nursing at Nottingham Trent University at the same time

Adrian and Kacper Dzialo from Gedling in Nottingham chose to study BSc (Hons) Nursing – Mental Health because of a desire to make a difference and look after vulnerable people.

What’s equally as impressive is that the Dzialo family is now set to become an entire family of nurses. Adrian’s wife Alicja has already been a practicing nurse for some time and their youngest son Jacob also wants to follow in their footsteps. Adrian credits his wife as one of the inspirations behind his choice to study nursing.

The pair say that this experience has allowed them to become closer and support each other in their studies.

The two of them hold each other accountable on coursework deadlines, test each other’s knowledge in laws and legislations surrounding nursing, and study together. They also helped each other decide on their placement choices, which also forms part of their course.

Adrian Dzialo, speaking about his experience studying with his son, said: “At first, all of our friends and family were very surprised when they found out that me and my son would be studying together at university. Studying Mental Health Nursing has brought us closer together and helped us realise we have more in common than we thought. Kacper is much better at planning than I am and has been able to give me tips with my assignment planning. I’m so proud of him and how hard he works. I’ve also been able to understand Alicja’s experience at work better now that I’m studying to become a nurse as well.”

Kacper and his dad made their minds up after attending an open day together at NTU’s Mansfield Site. They were given a tour around the campus and nursing facilities and, not long after, they submitted their applications.

NTU’s Mansfield Site has strong links with local hospitals. Its facilities include a clinical skills suite where students can practice simulated clinical skills with mannequins, hospital beds and even real patients who guide students using their own experience of health services.

Kacper Dzialo, said: “It’s been a really interesting experience studying with my Dad and it isn’t common for people to say they come home and share stories with their dad about your day at university! My little brother Jacob has said he’s been inspired by my passion for nursing and he now wants to apply to study nursing too when he is old enough.”

Kacper decided to study his course at NTU’s Clifton campus to have a little bit more independence from his dad, however, he made the decision to still live at home.

Philip Clissett, Principal Lecturer in Healthcare at Nottingham Trent University in Mansfield, said: “I’m so pleased that from the initial experience of the NTU Mansfield open day until now that both Adrian and Kacper have had such a positive experience with us at NTU. It really is a unique story they have about how they have both been able to navigate studying nursing together, supporting each other along the way.”

In terms of the future after the pair graduate in September 2025, Adrian is considering doing further study so he can do a dual qualification with Adult Nursing. Kacper is excited about the many options and routes that nursing offers and is even considering working abroad as a nurse in the future.

With only 11% of nurses in the UK being male*, they both hope that their stories will also encourage more men to consider a career in nursing.

*Source: ‘Stats And Facts on the UK’s Nursing Workforce 2023’

  • Notes for editors

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2023 and ranked second best university in the UK in the Uni Compare Top 100 rankings (2021/2022). It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with nearly 39,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data). It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    NTU is ranked 2nd most sustainable university in the world in the 2022 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Published on 9 March 2023
  • Category: Press office