Posted Thursday 23 February 2023
Kingston University has been shortlisted for six accolades across five categories in this year's Student Nursing Times Awards.
The nominations for the University's School of Nursing include three students celebrated for their contributions to the field of nursing, two in the running for Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year and one for the Student Nurse of the Year: Children award.
The School has been shortlisted in the Partnership of the Year, Teaching Innovation of the Year and Best Student Experience categories for its student elective placements.
Now in its twelfth year, the national awards shine a light on the brightest talent in the nursing community. The accolades recognise students, graduates, nurses, lecturers and supervisors who go the extra mile, as well as universities that put student experience first.
Head of the School of Nursing Professor Claire Thurgate commended the students and staff involved in the shortlisted projects on their nominations. "It is no mean feat to be shortlisted for these prestigious awards and we are extremely proud of our students for all that they have achieved already in their respective fields of nursing," she said. "The shortlisted elective placements demonstrate the passion and expertise of our academics in supporting our students' development to enable them to become sought-after qualified nurses who will make a real difference to patient care."
Third year children's nursing student Emmie Hopkinson has been shortlisted in the Student Nurse of the Year: Children category. During the first year of her studies, she was selected for a place on the Council of Deans Student Leadership Programme, which supports students to develop leadership skills in their respective fields by pairing them with academic mentors from across the country.
Since joining the programme, the 25 year old from Haywards Heath, East Sussex, has taken a proactive role in raising awareness of some of the health and wellbeing issues children and young people face today. Most recently, she authored an article in leading journal Nursing Children & Young People which highlights the vital role school nurses can play in addressing the rising number of eating disorders among children and young people.
Pebbles Day and Courtney France have both been nominated for Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year award. Prior to joining Kingston's nursing associate apprenticeship programme, Pebbles worked as a security officer for a London Mental Health NHS Trust, taking a leading role in de-escalating situations and reducing conflict. Keen to be more involved in caring for patients, Pebbles applied to be a healthcare assistant and then eventually for the Nursing Associate apprenticeship programme at Kingston.
Pebbles is now working at an acute-psychiatric ward within the Trust on placement, supporting individuals with a variety of mental health needs. She was nominated for having gone above and beyond in their role, including accompanying service users to routine medical appointments and creating a courtyard garden with bulbs and flowers from a local garden centre for them to enjoy.
Courtney France was put forward for consideration by a senior nurse at an accident and emergency department. During her time on placement at the department, Courtney has taken on additional roles outside of her day-to-day tasks, including proactively working with the safeguarding team and becoming a qualified mental health first aider to support staff wellbeing.
For the School awards, Kingston's nurse elective placement programme, which offers students a four-week placement in the summer working in a healthcare setting of their choice either in the UK or abroad is up for the Best Student Experience accolade. The electives, which cover the four fields of nursing – children's, mental health, adult and learning disability – are organised by students with the academic team providing ongoing support.
One of the placements students took part in last year was a simulated public health elective, which has been nominated for the Teaching Innovation of the Year award. Organised by the University's academics and funded by Health Education England, the elective is designed to mirror the work of health and wellbeing boards within the local authority.
Students were tasked with carrying out a health needs assessment within London to identify an area in need, for which they developed a poster and short film which were presented to local NHS trusts.
Another placement saw students work with Little Village, a charity that supports families with babies and children under five living in poverty across London. The placement, which is in contention for The Partnership of The Year award, has given students the opportunity to expand their knowledge by working in a different field and provide vital services to vulnerable families using the skills they've learnt in nursing.
Last year, Jessica Ball who graduated this January, won learning disabilities student nurse of the year.