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Kingston University shortlisted for multiple 2024 Student Nursing Times Awards

Posted Friday 8 March 2024

Kingston University shortlisted for multiple 2024 Student Nursing Times Awards

Kingston University has been shortlisted for a number of accolades in this year's Student Nursing Times Awards.

The nominations for the University's School of Nursing, Allied and Public Health include two students celebrated for their contributions to the field of nursing in the Student Nurse of the Year: Adult and Nursing Associate Learner of the Year categories. The School has also been shortlisted in the Nursing Associate Training Programme of the Year and in the Partnership of the Year, jointly with Shooting Star Children's Hospices.

Now in its 13th 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.

Third year adult nursing student Philippa Esson has been shortlisted for the Student Nurse of the Year: Adult category. She was nominated by her placement provider, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where she has taken part in a variety of placements over the past three years.

Photo of student Philippa Esson in front of an Air AmbulancePhilippa Esson, who has been shortlisted for the Student Nurse of the Year Adult category, used to work for London’s Air Ambulance Charity.Philippa was one of the first students to experience the hospital's new clinical nurse specialist placement in oncology and palliative care. She enjoyed the experience so much that she nominated Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for the Placement of the Year: Hospital accolade, for which it has also been named a finalist.

"I was really supported by the team who involved me in all aspects of patient care, to ensure I got the most out of my time with them," Philippa explained. "I was able to help patients from the acute oncology service all the way through to accompanying them to their diagnostic tests and radiotherapy sessions, meaning I was involved in supporting them throughout their journey from initial diagnosis to treatment."

The mature student and mother-of-three also takes part in volunteering work with The Listening Place, which provides ongoing face-to-face support for people who are feeling suicidal or have other mental health issues. As a supervising volunteer, she manages her peers and trains new volunteers in active listening. Following a recent meeting with Kingston Hospital's Chief Executive and Chief Nurse, she will be delivering the training she provides at The Listening Place to a pilot group of nurses at the hospital in April after explaining to them how this could benefit healthcare professionals, as well as nursing degree apprenticeship students at Kingston University.

Philippa has also been the first nursing student to join Kingston Hospital's Patient Experience Committee, which leads the Trust's strategy for delivering excellent patient experience, ensuring there are effective systems in place to listen to and learn from patients.

Another student in the running for a Student Nursing Times Award is Elisha Parkinson who has been nominated for the Nursing Associate Learner of the Year.

Photo of student Elisha ParkinsonElisha Parkinson, who has been shortlisted for the Nursing Associate Learner of the Year accolade, is completing Kingston University's nursing degree apprenticeship programme.Before joining Kingston University, Elisha was working for Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust as a recruitment manager for their staff bank, contracting healthcare professionals to take on temporary shifts at the Trust's hospitals.

After working in this role for a few years, Elisha decided to explore how she could start a career in nursing at the end of 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. "It was during this time that I realised I was on the wrong side of the interview table," Elisha explained. "It had been playing on my mind for a little while. I really wanted to help people and get into nursing, but I just didn't know how."

She secured a role as a recovery support worker with a community mental health team at South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust and 15 months into this role, she started the nursing associate apprenticeship degree programme at Kingston.

Using what she has learnt on the course, she has been able to help a number of her patients improve both their physical and mental health, taking a holistic approach to patient care. She has incorporated the use of motivational interviewing and behavioural therapies to empower patients to make positive choices for themselves when it comes to their physical health. Using this as evidence of how mental health practitioners can also support patients with physical health needs, she is working with her Trust to discuss the need to provide training for others in similar roles.

Kingston University has meanwhile been shortlisted for Nursing Associate Training Programme Provider of the Year, for its nursing associate programme, which students can enrol on as a two-year apprenticeship with an employer or a two-year degree.

Since its inception in 2017, the course has gone from strength to strength with many nursing associate students being named finalists and winners of the Student Nursing Times Awards in previous years.

Building on pre-existing working relationships the course team, most of whom remain clinically active to give students valuable links between theory and practice, works closely with practice partners to ensure students are provided with a vast range of placement opportunities. There are also dedicated skills and simulation sessions focusing on the four fields of nursing within the School's simulation suites, providing students with the opportunity to practice in a safe environment prior to going out on placement.

Kingston University and Shooting Star Children's Hospices have meanwhile been named a finalist in the Partnership of the Year category for its innovative Peer Enhanced E Placement project, which provided a virtual alternative to traditional face-to-face placements. The week-long hybrid placement ran in July 2023 and allowed learning disabilities and children's nursing students to gain experience in an important practice area not normally available to them all. Resources to guide and facilitate student learning were co-designed and co delivered by children's nursing experts from the University and Shooting Star. The virtual placement importantly involved a one day visit to the hospice for further learning. This innovative placement with Shooting Star Children's Hospices has also been shortlisted in the Student Placement of the Year: Community category.

Head of the School of Nursing, Allied and Public Health 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 their dedication to their respective fields of nursing," she said. "The nominations are also testament to the passion and expertise of our academics who go above and beyond to deliver high-quality support and motivation to our students and build long-term working relationships with practice partners."

Last year, Kingston University won two accolades at the Student Nursing Times Awards, for Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year and Teaching Innovation of the Year.

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