Pioneering occupational health nurse receives honorary fellowship for commitment to profession

Pioneering occupational health nurse receives honorary fellowship for commitment to profession name

An influential international occupational health nurse credited with shaping the present-day profession has been awarded an honorary fellowship for her lifelong and outstanding service to occupational health.

Julie Staun OBE was awarded an honorary fellowship by the University of Cumbria at its July graduation ceremonies, which took place in Cumbria, at Carlisle Cathedral last week.

Julie Staun OBE has had an impressive career and, at 80, continues to make her mark in the field of occupational health, a profession she has helped to develop and promote worldwide since the 1980s.

Reacting to the news Julie Staun OBE said: “I am honoured and absolutely delighted to receive such an acknowledgement and recognition for a field that I am passionate about. The award brings attention to the continued importance of occupational health designed to improving working conditions and promoting the health, safety and wellbeing of the working population.”

Born in Norwich in 1941, she took up her first professional job in 1966 as a staff nurse at Newmarket General Hospital in Suffolk.

A year later Julie moved to Denmark to take up a similar position at the State University Hospital in Copenhagen, before becoming a specialist nurse anaesthetist at the County Hospital in Frederiksborg until she moved into the field of Occupational Health in1981.

From then she dedicated herself to promoting and developing the profession as it is known today.

This included developing and delivering specialised education for occupational health nurses in Denmark and forming academic education programmes in the EU and employer training programmes in Denmark, US and Delhi, India, as well as contributing to the University of Cumbria’s occupational health nursing programme.  

Julie has received many awards and professional recognition for her commitment to occupational health nursing in Denmark and the European Union.  She remains actively involved as a member of the International Commission on Occupational Health and Danish representative of the Federation of Occupational Health Nurses within the EU (FOHNEU) where she held the post of elected President between 1999 and 2014. 

In the Queen’s New Year Honours 2015, Julie was awarded the OBE for services to occupational health in Denmark in recognition of her commitment to her profession.

And in 2018, Julie was awarded a PhD (at the age of 76) through the University of Cumbria’s postgraduate programme.

Honorary fellowships recognise individuals who make outstanding contributions to the university or support causes linked to the university’s work.

Professor Julie Mennell, vice chancellor, of the University of Cumbria, said: “Julie is a truly inspirational example of a lifelong learner, seeking new insights to challenge thinking and practice and inspiring others to do so, whatever their stage in life or career. We are very proud to recognise an individual who has had such a profound impact on her profession and field of work with this award.”

In the future, Julie would like to establish the field of occupational health in the university's Institute of Health, which already hosts nursing and many more allied health care professions. 

Julie joined three other honorary fellows conferred at the University of Cumbria graduations.

Nigel Wilkinson MBE was awarded an honorary fellowship in recognition of his lifelong and outstanding service to tourism and the economy in Cumbria. Jackie Arnold MBE FCMA, for her lifelong and outstanding contribution to strategic development and business growth in Cumbria, and Geoffrey Donnelly MA BSc Hons was awarded an honorary fellowship in recognition of his lifelong and outstanding contribution to financial management, governance and public service

The first set of ceremonies to celebrate the University of Cumbria’s Class of 2022 as the institution returns to its biannual ceremonies.