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Kingston University scoops two accolades at national Student Nursing Times Awards

Posted Thursday 2 May 2024

Kingston University scoops two accolades at national Student Nursing Times Awards Nursing associate apprenticeship degree student Elisha Parkinson (left) was honoured, along while the University's nursing associate programme picked up an award.

Kingston University has picked up two accolades at this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards, collecting both the Nursing Associate Training Programme Provider of the Year and Nursing Associate Learner of the Year.

 Student Elisha Parkinson, currently in her second year of the nursing associate apprenticeship degree programme, scooped the award for Nursing Associate Learner of the Year. The 29-year-old from Sutton said winning the award among a strong pool of nominees will help her when entering the working world after graduating. “It’s been an incredible experience. It was inspiring to be surrounded by so many other students who share the same vision of great patient care,” she said.

Before joining Kingston University Elisha worked 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, before deciding to explore how she could start a career in nursing at the end of 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Having 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, she successfully applied to the nursing associate apprenticeship degree programme at Kingston.

Using learnings from the course, she has been able to help several of her patients improve both their physical and mental health, taking a holistic approach to patient care. Elisha has incorporated the use of motivational interviewing and behavioural therapies into her role to empower patients to make positive choices for themselves when it comes to their physical health. 

With this 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. “This whole process has boosted my confidence for when I graduate, where I hope to continue taking steps towards reducing inequalities for mental health patients regarding their physical health,” she said. 

The second award was for the University’s Nursing Associate FdSc, which won Nursing Associate Training Programme Provider of the Year. The course is available as a two-year apprenticeship with an employer or a two-year degree. 

The award for Kingston’s nursing associate programme was the latest success for the course, which has picked up multiple accolades from the Student Nursing Times Awards since its inception in 2017. 

The course team, many of whom remain clinically active to give students valuable links between theory and practice, have built on pre-existing working relationships with practice partners to ensure students are provided with a vast range of placement opportunities. 

Dedicated skills and simulation sessions focus on the four fields of nursing within the School of Nursing Allied and Public Health's simulation suites, providing students with the opportunity to practice in a safe environment prior to going out on placement. 

Senior lecturer Lindsey Allister said the team of academics was constantly developing the programme to ensure it meets the highest standards. “We’re very proud of how the course has developed, in line with student feedback, to ensure we produce excellent graduates through an innovative curriculum,” she said. “Our programme is not just keeping up with change, we are creating it,” she added. 

Head of the School of Nursing, Allied and Public Health Professor Claire Thurgate said the awards highlighted the talent within the School. "Our continued success at the Student Nursing Times Awards is a testament to the great individual and collective talent of our staff and students and we are extremely proud of all the finalists and all that they have achieved in their respective fields of nursing,” she said.  “The importance of the partnerships we have with organisations across London is a big part of the work we do and it’s great to see this recognised,” she added. 

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 recognising universities putting student experience first. 

The two accolades continue Kingston University’s recent success at the Student Nursing Times Awards, after it collected Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year and Teaching Innovation of the Year in 2023. 

  • Find out more about studying nursing at Kingston University.

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