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UCLan senior lecturer shortlisted for Community Practitioner Health Visitor award

One of UCLan’s senior lecturers has been recognised by the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association (CPHVA), with a nomination for Educator of the Year. Dr Karen Whittaker has been shortlisted for the prestigious award by the leading professional body for community nurses and health visitors.

Practicing in UCLan’s School of Health as a senior lecturer for the past 15 years, Karen has enjoyed working with student health visitors, other community nurses and NHS practice teaching colleagues. A keen researcher, she has also examined and published on topics such as parenting support in the early years, home visiting services for children and families and health visitor workforce retention.

The annual CPHVA awards ceremony aims to give recognition to community practitioners and health visitors that demonstrate ‘professionalism, passion and creativity… often with little or no recognition or appreciation’. The awards were launched in 2011 to counter this lack of appreciation for the professional achievements of members and instead acknowledge the ‘extraordinary work that members carry out every day with huge dedication and enthusiasm.’



Karen said of her nomination: “I am thrilled to be shortlisted for the award and excited that the value of health visiting education is being recognised.” Unfortunately, Karen is unable to attend the ceremony personally although Jean Taylor, the Associate Head of the School of Health, will be there to represent UCLan on her behalf.

This has been a particularly exciting month for Karen who, in addition, has been shortlisted by UCLan Students' Union for a Golden Rose award for Postgraduate Support. Karen said: “This second nomination is much appreciated since it comes from the students, I'm delighted that they think so well of my work with them.”

Alongside these accolades, Karen has recently taken over as Chair of a UK-wide group representing Health Visitor Educators - the UK Standing Conference for specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) education. She secured this post due to her enthusiastic approach when teaching on the SCPHN education programme at UCLan.

The winners of the CPHVA awards will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony that will take place at the stunning OXO tower in London on 28th March.