A total of three University of Cumbria students have been shortlisted in the prestigious Student Nursing Times Awards, from a record-breaking list of over 450 entries.
Kerry Cooper, (39), lives in Alston and is currently on placement at the Cumberland Infirmary. She is in the running for the Student Midwife of the Year award.
The third-year midwifery student was nominated for the award by her university lecturer Christina Feltham, who describes Kerry as ‘an exceptional academic student’ and noted that she had already won the Cavell Nurses Trust ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement Award’ in 2015. She continues:
“It has been a pleasure to see Kerry grow and develop throughout her midwifery educational programme. Other maternity staff comment regularly on her exceptional ability to provide care in a compassionate way, engaging with women, their partners and the wider family in a calm, professional manner.”
Kerry says: “I am delighted and overwhelmed to be shortlisted; it still all feels slightly surreal! I am loving my training, it has confirmed to me that I have absolutely made the right decision in choosing midwifery.”
Both of the other students have been shortlisted in the Learning Disabilities Student Nurse of the Year category and are based at the university’s Lancaster campus.
Holly Phillips (27) from Lancaster and Heather Maw (43) from near Skipton were shortlisted from ‘unprecedented numbers’ of entries in their category.
Holly is chair of the Student Quality Ambassadors group at the university, part of a Health Education North West initiative to champion and highlight good nursing practice. She is also a peer mentor for both learning disability nursing students and international students entering their first year at university. She says:
“I am very proud of my achievements and extremely grateful for all the support and encouragement I have received. It is a privilege to be standing next to so many fabulous and inspirational finalists and hope that each of our achievements will go on to inspire others to take on their own challenges during their studies.”
Heather Maw was nominated for many achievements, including her involvement in the NHS Caremaker Scheme and the Student Quality Ambassador initiative, as well as her dedication and commitment to the course as a mature student. She explains:
“I am honoured to be shortlisted in this category. It symbolises the commitment I have made, and continue to make, to people with learning disabilities. It is an exciting facet of the wonderful, and sometimes personally challenging, learning disability nursing degree I’ve undertaken at university.”
University nursing lecturer Jo Marshall says:
“Holly and Heather are motivating, inspirational and passionate about working with people with a learning disability and their families and carers. They have both been very successful in raising awareness of the influence of the learning disability role.”
Following individual interviews before a panel of judges, the winners of the Student Nursing Times Awards 2016 will be announced on 28 April at the London Hilton.