A lot of us attended the Student Nursing Times Awards. These are our views and feelings;
Lucy (@MissLucyMay) – When I got nominated by the university to apply for most inspirational student nurse of the year, I was so encouraged that I had made a difference to others at my university. That’s even without being shortlisted or going to the awards, just simply that the university students wanted me to be recognised made me full of pride enough. When I asked for testimonials, so many people, student and registered nurses alike came out of the woodwork to support me. Their words were so beautiful and touching. Being nominated is truly one of the best moments of my career to date.
Ewout (@Ewout1985) – when I was told by my university that I should put myself forward again after having done so last year, I nearly didn’t do it. Since the last time I want shortlisted, I was wondering why I would be this time. But, against my own odds: I was shortlisted. But then the nerve-wracking interview process starts. Not a lot can prepare you for this, especially since within my category ‘Outstanding Contribution to student affairs’ we weren’t asked to create a presentation or anything. So, for my interview day I dressed up smart, put a massive smile on my face and hoped that my answers would be okay. The interview panel were lovely, what an inspirational group of people to have a talk with. They make you feel valued and they really appreciate everything that you have done to get to the point of being finalist. For those thinking about going for it next year: do! Yes, it might be a little bit scary and slightly daunting, but the actual process itself is something you can learn from. The questions they ask you are not to trip you up, they’re to pinpoint areas of greatness you have shown. In the end, after rattling on for 20 minutes I had the chance to ask the judging panel a question. I asked them how on Earth they were going to pick a winner when this category has such a wide variety of students being shortlisted, they responded by agreeing it would be hard and at that at that moment they didn’t have a clue.
Lily (@Lily_Parham) – When you spend most of your time in uniform with your hair tied back, it feels great to get dressed up and let your hair down! The Student Nursing Times Awards isn’t just an opportunity to look nice and have fun. Being in a room surrounded by such passionate and innovative students, nurses, teachers, and university and hospital staff is really inspiring. It’s a reminder of how nurses are a key component of the driving forces for change in the NHS. And, as well as celebrating the creative nurses of the future, we had the chance to thank the institutions that got us there. Personally, I was there to support Royal Trinity Hospice in their category of best community placement. I learned so much on that placement, and was supported by their excellent staff to achieve so much more than I had anticipated at the start. It was an honour to be there on their behalf, and a joy to see how much other students loved their teachers and mentors – each of them receiving ear-splitting cheers as their names were announced. This event happened to fall in the first week of my management placement, and what better time to celebrate our mentors and be reminded of just how much nurses can achieve.
Andrew (@MaleStudntNurse) – I’d like to think of myself as a confident person but when I was asked to put myself forward to the SNTA I really doubted my abilities. Collecting feedback from my mentors and other people who have influenced my journey was amazing and really powerful. When I was shortlisted it was just the most incredible feeling, to think people who read my application were impressed with what I have achieved was quite humbling. Going to awards was my highlight of the whole process, just being in the room with so many amazing students, nurses, lecturers left me quite emotionally challenged. Having my rock, the reason I have been able to train as a nurse next to me to celebrate just made it even more special. Winning didn’t matter, this experience is something that I will cherish forever it’s like the student nurse oscars. For anyone who has thought about applying….do it…I have come away even more inspired and passionate about nursing. Be the best you can be, be yourself!
Jessica S (@JessLSainsbury) – Now, at first it may appear that I was gatecrashing the SNTA’s, but I did have a ticket – honest! The reason I attended was not because I was shortlisted, but because I was there to support a peer who I had nominated for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs’. I am ashamed to say that I still see a lot of competing in our profession… why? We should encourage each other and watch each other flourish and grow. I nominated Rebecca because she has worked tirelessly to improve the student experience at our University, and she has done a great job. It was an honour to attend the awards alongside her, her Mum, and our Associate Dean – a day I will remember as key in my nursing journey.
Dann (@DannGooding) – I was not shortlisted; however I attended the Student Nursing Times Awards after being invited by my university, LSBU. What struck me as amazing was how many students, staff and universities were there. I was surrounded by greatness. Similar to Jess, I am a huge believer in building people up. I have learnt over my course that strong leaders and strong people do not put others down, but instead, lifts them up. A big well done to all the award winners, but an even bigger thank you to all who were nominated, and everyone who continues to make such a huge difference to nursing everywhere. I am so proud that so many of those involved in StNP both present and past have been recognised for their amazing work throughout nursing!