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Student nurses shortlisted for national awards

29th April 2016

Two Northumbria University students are in the running to receive scholarships from a prestigious national nursing organisation.

The Cavell Nurses’ Trust has shortlisted two Northumbria students for their annual awards that celebrate and reward outstanding and inspiring student nurses and midwives from across the UK.

Third year BSc Nursing Studies (Adult) student, Jessica McCabe, is a finalist in the £2,000 Edith Cavell Leadership Award Scholarship category for her work designing an international health improvement project following a volunteering trip to Ghana, while Integrated Masters in Nursing student, Sean Harrison, has been shortlisted for his outstanding academic achievements.

Jessica is currently raising funds to return to the West African country after graduation this summer. She plans to lead a team of first year Northumbria nursing students to spearhead a cancer awareness campaign in the Lake Volte region. The team will also provide support in labour care and wound treatment and Jessica, who is a former dental nurse, will also be able to offer oral health advice during her outreach visit.

Jessica’s commitment to spreading cancer awareness overseas has been inspired by a medical fight much closer to home. During her first year of study, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Impressed by the wealth of treatment and support available to tackle the disease in the UK, Jessica was struck by the contrasting lack of cancer awareness information and support for people living in Ghana.

“Alongside the NHS we have amazing support from organisations like MacMillan,” she said. “It’s a shame that this sort of help isn’t available to many people living in the areas I travelled to. When I went out there to volunteer I was helping in clinics on the hospital labour ward and I was able to compare and contrast how nursing is practiced.”

Fellow student, Sean Harrison, has been selected for the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award category. He achieved a score of 92% on a case study assessing the nursing care of a person experiencing pain. His essay was so exceptional that extracts have been used to produce a handout for other students on the same course about how to write a case study. Sean’s essay will also be used to help with staff development.

“I am very proud that my work is helping other aspiring nurses to improve their academic writing skills”, said Sean. “More importantly, it has the potential to improve the safety and quality of care delivered to countless numbers of patients in the future, which is the reason we are all here after all.   

“We receive excellent support here at Northumbria and I wouldn’t have been shortlisted without the time and dedication of the academic staff who really want to get the most out of the students.

It’s an honour to represent Northumbria University at the awards ceremony in London this may and to be affiliated with the Cavell Trust and the incredible work done by them.” 

Amanda Clarke, Head of the Department of Healthcare at Northumbria University, said: “We have many exceptional student nurses on our courses, but Jessica and Sean stand out as two who have taken their learning and are immediately applying it to help others, both professionally and academically. We wish them both the very best of luck in these prestigious awards.

The Cavell Nurses Trust Awards offers students the opportunity to win prize funds across six categories: Community Award; Edith Cavell Leadership Award; Outstanding Academic Achievement Award; Outstanding Student Midwife Award; Outstanding Student Nurse Award; and Outstanding QARANC Reservist Student Award.

The Scholarship prize funds can be used for placements either abroad or in the UK and a runner up in each category will also win a laptop or tablet to help with their studies.

Northumbria’s nursing programmes were the first in the country to be accredited by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and are ranked top 20 in the UK in both the Sunday Times Good University Guide and the Complete University Guide.

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