Students - group photo.JPGNorth Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust's Practice Development Team has been shortlisted for two awards in this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards.

And Quality and Safety Matron, Linda Turner, has been nominated by the University of Cumbria for the role she played in organising enrichment sessions for students on community placement at the height of the pandemic.

The shortlist was announced today by the Nursing Times.

The Student Nursing Times Awards bring together the nursing community to shine a light on the brightest talent making their way into the profession.

NCIC has been shortlisted for providing the Best Student Experience for the Covid response/deployment and nurse Roseanna Watt has been nominated as Practice Supervisor of the Year.

The citation for the Best Student Experience category states: “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Practice Development Team (PDT) at NCIC redeployed in total 186 opt-in students to support the workforce between March 2020 to February 2021. 

“In a very limited time the Trust developed an induction programme for students opting-in to prepare them for what they might encounter while working during a pandemic.

“During the induction process some students expressed concerns regarding working in the health care sector due to the impact of the pandemic and the effect this may have on vulnerable relatives they lived with. The PDT signposted students on how to access free temporary accommodation in order to protect their loved ones.  This provided reassurance to these students. 

“It was recognised highly distressing situations were likely to arise during the paid placement period therefore it was important for additional support networks to be put in place, particularly in support of the pastoral and emotional wellbeing of students.  The ‘Cumbrian Custodian Support Network’ was developed, which involved recruiting experienced staff as volunteers to the Custodian role.  All 186 students were allocated a Custodian for the duration of their extended paid placement as a point of contact.”

In the Practice Supervisor of the Year category, Roseanna Watt, known as Rosie, has been shortlisted. Rosie qualified as a nurse in 2019 and undertook her practice educator training after six months.

The Trust citation says Rosie has shown: “Outstanding dedication and commitment to student support during the pandemic.”

Gemma Lumsdon, Practice Education Facilitator at NCIC, said: “Rosie has shown 100 per cent dedication to student education and support over the last 12 months, while working in a challenging environment.

“She is described as a friend, a teacher, a coach, a role model, approachable, understanding and a listening ear. She has responded to feedback to make improvements to create an inclusive and adaptable learning environment. She is always looking out for ways to further enhance learner experiences.

“This has directly improved student satisfaction and had led to the recruitment of four newly qualified nurses.”

Rosie will now have to attend an interview in London.

The citation for Linda Turner, who was nominated by the University of Cumbria, says: “The development of year 1 and yearLinda Turner 2.jpg 3 students during the COVID-19 pandemic with national restrictions put in place meant that students on placement in Community Teams were unable to access the same rich and varied learning experience usually offered, and there were concerns for their welfare during this time. To address this, twice-weekly remote sessions were established, ensuring the students had the opportunity to:

  • Learn about the diversity of NHS services provided in the Community
  • Have a safe space to discuss any concerns relating to their placement and the pandemic
  • Could come together to share learning and experiences

The students agreed that the sessions allowed them to:

  • Gain practical and essential skills
  • Explore potential new career opportunities and specialities
  • Reflect on their own experience and learning
  • Discuss their welfare
  • Raise any concerns or practical issues experienced

One student said: "During my time on my first placement COVID19 was at a high peak, and I was unable to attend spoke placements due to infection control, the enrichment sessions offered during my second placement helped me learn about the diversity of the NHS services that are provided.”

And another student added: "These sessions are of great interest as they support our learning and give us more opportunity to see what the NHS is able to offer us and to see the learning opportunities available at NCIC.”

Linda said: "I am absolutely delighted to receive this surprise nomination and be shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Award.

"The work for which we have been shortlisted was made possible as a result of our Community based clinical teams pulling together, to ensure our students felt supported and still had the opportunity to experience a varied and rich learning placement, despite the challenges our teams and students faced due to the COVID Pandemic.

"I’m thrilled that the NCIC Placement Education Team are continuing to offer the Enrichment sessions model we developed, to enable all our current and future students to have the opportunity to learn more about the varied teams within NCIC and what they do."

The overall winners will be announced at the Student Nursing Times Awards on Thursday 4th November at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.