Posted Wednesday 6 April 2022
Kingston University has been shortlisted in five categories at the Student Nursing Times Awards.
The nominations for the School of Nursing, which is rated number one in London in the latest Guardian University Guide, follows on from the 13 it has received over the last three years.
In its eleventh year, the national awards shine a light on the brightest talent in the nursing community. They recognise students, graduates, nurses, lecturers and supervisors who go the extra mile, as well as universities that put the day-to-day student experience first.
Third year learning disability nursing student Jessica Ball, who was recently named Student Nurse of the Year at Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's annual Mary Seacole conference, has been shortlisted for two accolades – Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year and Student Nurse of the Year: Learning Disabilities.
Following her parents' footsteps into learning disability nursing, Jessica has taken a lead role during her studies in improving outcomes for people with learning disabilities.
She heads up the University's nursing society – a group of nursing students who work together and support each other – and has used her work placements to help the care of patients. This included producing a learning disability information booklet that could be used as a quick reference guide for healthcare professionals for hospitals across Surrey, and establishing several outreach opportunities, including showcasing how learning disability nursing can improve health outcomes for those using accident and emergency services.
Course lead for Kingston's Learning Disabilities Nursing BSc (Hons) programme, Anne Ambridge praised the mindset of Jessica, who also presented at a recent Royal College of Nursing conference. "She had a great foundation to build a career from because her parents were highly-respected learning disability nurses. The high bar they set could have been daunting, but Jessica's mindset is fantastic and she's so organised and meticulous in the detail – she will make a fantastic nurse," she said.
Another award Kingston University is in the running for is, Teaching Innovation of the Year. The project shortlisted is a new module taught to learning disability nursing students about improving safe and effective care delivery in acute care, particularly around Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders. With almost all the students from this year's cohort passing it, a quality improvement report was sent to Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust who changed their policy around DNR.
Mrs Ambridge said this showed the real impact the project was having on acute care in the local area. "It's innovative and collaborative teaching and our students loved it. The module gives them the chance to develop their skills and learn off their peers. It was only supposed to be a pilot scheme, but it's been so successful we are looking at rolling it out to the other fields of nursing," she said.
The final two accolades the University is in contention for are Student Placement of the Year: Community, and Partnership of the Year – both for its links with Haringey Learning Partnership where a large proportion of the workforce are Kingston alumni.
The Student Placement of the Year: Community shortlisting followed the commitment by the partnership to enable nursing students to gain placement experience during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the lockdown which put a halt to many placements across the country. "Haringey contacted us about how we could work together to give our students resources and learnings despite the difficult situation the whole country was in. They offer a really nurturing and supportive environment that gets the best out of people and they genuinely care and take an interest in our students which makes such a difference," said Mrs Ambridge.
The Partnership of the Year nomination resulted from the work done by specialist practitioner at Haringey, James Shears, who was named Mentor of the Year at the 2019 Student Nursing Times Awards. Mr Shears helps to teach and develop Kingston University's curriculum, interviews for new academic staff and works with Mrs Ambridge and Associate Professor of Learning Disabilities Nursing and Professional Lead at Kingston, Trish Griffin, on innovative teaching methods.
"We have a shared understanding and are in constant dialogue over new projects and ideas," Trish Griffin said. "The collaboration is really important and James encourages our alumni working at Haringey to come back and teach our students, which helps them understand the next generation of nurses," she added.
The awards will be handed out at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday 27 May.