Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

Student Nurse of the Year Awards

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Four Brookes students have been nominated for this year's Student Nursing Times Awards.

Lowri Aldworth, David Moreton and Lyndsey Claricoats, all studying Mental Health, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Student Nurse of the Year: Mental Health Award, whilst Adult Nursing student Rachel Sherwin is nominated for the Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs Award. All four students were selected based on the positive difference they made whilst out on placement and for engaging in nursing as a whole.

The Student Nurse of the Year: Mental Health Award recognises students that work especially hard, show compassion towards their patients and offer excellent care for clients that can often be difficult to reach or feel excluded. The Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs Award celebrates those that have shown exceptional dedication to improving the experiences of their peers.

Lowri, Lyndsey, David and Rachel have been invited to a preliminary interview on Friday 28 March before the award ceremony itself, which is to be held at London's Hilton Hotel on Thursday 1 May 2014.

Gerry Sheppard, Subject Co-ordinator and Senior Lecturer for Mental Health Nursing at Brookes, spoke glowingly about Lowri's nomination. "Lowri's hard work, caring nature and willingness to get involved in all aspects of the course make her a role model for good practice. She consistently receives excellent feedback from her mentors on placement and is an excellent ambassador for mental nursing - when Lord Willis visited Brookes in September 2012 as part of his review of the nursing system, she was a natural choice to represent the Mental Health Nursing course's student voice. Lowri's activity extends beyond the course too, as she was selected from the student cohort to be a student member of the Keogh Review panel, for which she has written an article which is due for publication in the Nursing Standard."

Carol Gee, a fellow lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, was equally as positive about the nominations of Lyndsey and David. "David and Lyndsey are both highly respected by their fellow students and by the staff for their enthusiasm, commitment and excellent communication skills. They have both worked together to develop a Reflective Practice Support Group for all Mental Health Nursing students, where students can gain some valuable insight on how to get the most out of their time out on placement and can raise any issues they have. Feedback from students of all years has been excellent and they have found both Lyndsey and David to be supportive, helpful and inspirational.

"In addition, both Lyndsey and David showed great courage by speaking out after witnessing unacceptable practice when out on placement. They raised the matter appropriately and professionally and despite the process continuing for over two years both of them have remained steadfast. They have both attended a Nursing and Midwifery Council disciplinary hearing to ensure that the highest standard of practice is met. By sharing their experiences and not allowing the stress surrounding the situation to diminish their ongoing studies or professional development, they have helped inspire others to speak out too."

Juliet Bostwick, Programme Leader for Adult Nursing, was hugely supportive of Rachel’s nomination. "I have been impressed since the very beginning of her time on the programme with Rachel’s sense of the importance of nurses having a range of skills and knowledge. She has set herself very high standards and is skilled at asking searching questions, listening to the answers and trying to understand these in the context of the practice care environment. I get a real sense of her passion for making a difference, not just for those that she has direct input with, but also with her colleagues and the wider profession. Rachel has also played an integral role in the establishment of our new Department of Clinical Health Care Association. In her role as Student President she has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and her enthusiasm has resulted in a very successful first year of events and activities."