Posted Tuesday 9 June 2015
The School of Nursing at Kingston University and St George's, University of London has clinched three of the top honours at this year's Student Nursing Times Awards. Nikki Yun and Laura Hart have been named Most Inspirational Student of the Year and Post-registration Nurse of the Year respectively, while lecturers Karen Elliott, Michelle McBride and Neesha Oozageer have scooped the Teaching Innovation of the Year award.
The accolades, presented by leading healthcare publication Nursing Times, celebrate the achievements of students who have excelled during their courses and the mentors, lecturers and educational providers who nurture and inspire them along the way.
The School, part of the Faculty of Heath, Social Care and Education at Kingston and St George's, has a strong track record of success in the annual awards - this year notching up nine finalists in 18 categories. The winners were announced at a packed ceremony at London's Hilton Hotel on Park Lane.
Nikki Yun, who is completing the final year of a BSc(Hons) in Adult Nursing, was nominated for the leadership skills and ability to inspire others that she has displayed during her course and while on work placements. The 31 year old from Walthamstow's achievements include:
Acting as a role model for fellow trainee nurses had been extremely important to her throughout her studies, Nikki said. "I really wanted to make a meaningful contribution to the curriculum and to motivate students to take advantage of all the opportunities available so they graduated ready to deliver the highest possible standards of care," she explained.
Associate Professor Paul Newcombe, who nominated Nikki for her award, predicted she would go on to become a future nursing leader. "Nikki's high standards, commitment and energy have been nothing short of exemplary during her studies and will stand her in strong stead for her future career," he said. Her award success has already led to Nikki meeting the Chief Nurse for London, Caroline Alexander, who commended her for her commitment to ensuring the student voice was heard within the profession. She has also been invited to attend a workshop with nursing directors to identify ways to develop a more sustainable nursing workforce for London.
Laura Hart, who won the post-registration Nurse of the Year category, is now reaping the rewards of completing an MSc in Healthcare Education and Clinical Leadership at Kingston and St George's. Her new qualification has meant the learning disability nurse has been able to climb the career ladder to take on a new role as practice educator for The Children's Trust - the United Kingdom's leading charity for childhood brain injury.
"The post is something I had aspired to since first qualifying as a nurse six years ago," Laura, from Reigate, Surrey, said. "The course's emphasis on developing additional professional skills though a work-based learning approach gave me the opportunity to implement changes that have helped my employer, while the support of my lecturers has given my confidence a huge boost."
The teaching excellence of School of Nursing staff Karen Elliott, Michelle McBride and Neesha Oozageer, who oversee a range of simulated exercises to help students master techniques needed to provide top quality patient care, also earned high praise from the judging panel. Their academic expertise is pivotal to the practical experience students get during mock scenarios staged in the clinical skills laboratories at the Faculty's Kingston Hill campus. "This innovative approach was praised by students for helping to prepare them, showing them how to conduct themselves in a particular setting and gave excellent feedback opportunities," the judges said.
Head of the School of Nursing Julia Gale said the award successes were a direct reflection of the commitment of staff prepared to always go the extra mile and the dedication of their students, who are handpicked by the Faculty for their commitment to providing safe and compassionate care. "This fantastic achievement has cemented the School's role as one of the foremost providers of healthcare education in London and demonstrates the enormous contribution our graduates will go on to make in hospitals and other healthcare settings right across the capital," Dr Gale added.