Deborah handed Most Inspirational Student prize at national ceremony
A local nursing student who worked in a Rwandan hospital as part of her course has been given a national award to honour her as an exceptional role model.
Deborah Huyton, a 29-year-old final year adult nursing student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), was handed the Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year prize at the annual Student Nursing Times Awards in London. The award recognises trainee nurses who have inspired their peers by acting with integrity, taking part in a transformational project or overcoming obstacles to achieve success.
Deborah, who beat off eight other contenders to win the prize, commented: “When my name was read out I could feel my heart pounding and I just felt overwhelmed. I never set out to do anything special and I feel so honoured to be given this award.”
During her studies, the former Brownedge St Mary’s Catholic High School and Cardinal Newman College pupil took a work placement in a Rwandan hospital’s intensive care unit and worked with local nurses to implement an assessment criteria for deteriorating patients.
When my name was read out I could feel my heart pounding and I just felt overwhelmed. I never set out to do anything special and I feel so honoured to be given this award.
“The intensive care unit had just eight beds so it really puts things into perspective and made me really appreciate our NHS even more. In Rwanda people walk for days just to see a doctor,” Deborah said.
The former horse riding instructor was also applauded for working closely with her fellow student nurses and taking part in fundraising events for the Royal College of Nursing Benevolent Fund.
The Head of the UCLan School of Nursing Dr Karen Wright congratulated Deborah. “We are incredibly proud of Deborah. She is truly an inspirational student who demonstrates all the core values of a compassionate nurse. She is an innovative, committed and authentic young woman who really shines as a person who has, and will make a difference to people’s lives by her sincere and evidence-based approach to nursing.”
Deborah, who lives with her boyfriend in Lostock Hall, has already been offered nursing jobs in Preston, Birmingham and Warwick upon graduation. Her tutor, Sabina Gerrard, added: “Deborah has been a credit to UCLan and the nursing profession. I have no doubt that she will continue to be inspirational throughout her nursing career.”
UCLan was also nominated for three other awards at the event; Rachel Byatt, course leader for the pre-registration children’s nursing degree, was a finalist in the Teaching Innovation of the Year category and fellow children’s nursing tutor Linda Sanderson was nominated for the Partnership of the Year award with Leeds Children’s Hospital. The University was also shortlisted for the Pre-registration Nurse Education Provider of the Year award and sponsored the Educator of Year category. More than 750 people attended the event at the London Hilton with 163 finalists and 17 overall winners across 17 categories.
College of Health and Wellbeing Executive Dean Nigel Harrison presenting the UCLan-sponsored Educator of the Year Award
Deborah has been a credit to UCLan and the nursing profession. I have no doubt that she will continue to be inspirational throughout her nursing career.
Dr Wright added: “Rachel has worked hard to assist student nurses to understand and engage with children to help them to become healthy, stay healthy and develop healthy perspectives. Her teaching is innovative and fun, she is a credit to the School of Nursing.
“Linda leads our children’s nursing team and does so by example. Her work with our Trust partners has created opportunities for learning and development that not only educate, but strengthen our understanding of the needs of children’s nurses in practice.”
Jenni Middleton, Editor of Nursing Times magazine, said: “If you are training to be a nurse or are already a nurse, you are a pretty exceptional person. It is an incredibly tough job. It is an amazingly rewarding profession. And it takes someone incredibly special to do it. It takes skill, it takes knowledge, it takes hard work, it takes dedication, and it takes commitment to be a nurse.
“At Nursing Times, we want to support nurses to be the best they can be. Our Nursing Times Awards winners and Student Nursing Times Awards winners are role models of what hard work, commitment and talent can see you achieve.”