Three student nursing awards for graduate nurse and programme of virtual antenatal classes

Three student nursing awards for graduate nurse and programme of virtual antenatal classes  name

A university graduate nurse and a programme of virtual antenatal classes have won three student nursing awards between them. 

It was a double win for Morecambe nurse Cherish Otoo, who won ‘Most Inspirational Student of the Year’ and the ‘Mary Seacole Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion’ at the 2022 Student Nursing Times Awards. 

While a programme of student-led virtual antenatal classes won the ‘Teaching Innovation of the Year’ category. 

‘Most Inspirational Student of the Year’ and the ‘Mary Seacole Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion’  
 
Cherish Otoo was described by judges as “an exceptional and inspirational nurse trailblazer” who “emanates a modern-day Mary Seacole in every sense of the word”. 
 
Ms Otoo was said to have made an exceptional contribution to diversity and inclusion, with a “courage and enthusiasm to tackle the challenges faced by [minority ethnic] colleagues at both a student and executive level”. 
 
Mary Seacole was a pioneering nurse from Jamaica who cared for British soldiers at the battlefront during the Crimean War. 
 
Ms Otoo, who graduated from the University of Cumbria, recently secured a nursing role at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary Emergency Department.

Cherish, who had previously worked in a non-clinical role, was one of the first people in the UK to enrol and qualify as a nurse through the University of Cumbria’s Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship programme, which was the first of its kind in the country when it launched in 2018. 

‘Teaching Innovation of the Year’ 

Virtual student-led antenatal classes were originally conceived by senior midwifery lecturer, Paula Brown, to address resourcing and placement issues intensified by Covid, across two northern NHS trusts, NCIC and UMBHT  
 
The entirely student-led programme, supported by the university’s midwifery team, saw small numbers of students deliver crucial antenatal classes to families virtually across a larger and more geographically diverse area than was possible before. 
 
So far more than 80 families have benefitted from the classes and there are plans to increase their number next year due the programme’s success.  
 
Heath Education England are so impressed by the programme’s innovation, they are considering rolling it out to other areas of the country.  
 
Paula Brown could not attend the awards ceremony in London, so the award was collected on her behalf by colleagues, Sophie Ray, and Justine Norton. 
 
University of Cumbria Deputy Vice Chancellor (Health, Environment, and Innovation) Professor Brian Webster-Henderson said: “I am thrilled that Cherish and our midwifery students and staff have been recognised for their exceptional innovation and impactful practice by these three awards. I am phenomenally proud of their achievements and wish them all the best for the future.” 
 
The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Friday (27 May). 
 
The awards ceremony, which honours the achievements of student nurses and nurse educators, celebrates its 11th anniversary this year. 
 
Editor of Nursing Times, Steve Ford, said: “Our awards recognise a group of outstanding students on their journey to entering the nursing profession, as well as all those who support them along the way, including lecturers, universities, and healthcare providers.” 
 
The full list of winners can be seen on the Student Nursing Times Awards website. 
 
To find out more about the nursing apprenticeships available, more information can be found via this link: www.cumbria.ac.uk/study/courses/apprenticeships/nursing-associate