Nursing Studies at the University of Edinburgh has a long tradition (offering nursing since 1956), of preparing nurses to work in the area of community and public health. Inspired by Dr Lisbeth Hockey’s community nursing focus, current undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, nurture and develop nurses to promote health in the community. We are delighted in Nursing Studies to be able to nominate each year one undergraduate and one postgraduate student for the QNIS academic award. These awards celebrate rising stars with an academic focus that is of relevance to community nursing. The students are always delighted to be nominated for the award and overjoyed to be recipients of the prizes. This year in particular when the pandemic has impacted our world in so many negative ways it is a joyous occasion to receive an award.
I am absolutely delighted to receive this prize- in normal times, this would be an incredible achievement but I completed my MSc whilst working on the frontline as an ICU nurse in the pandemic whilst my Dad was dying of cancer. I wish I could share this award with him, as he was an academic, but instead, I’ll dedicate it to him.
To be awarded the QNIS Student Academic Prize for the University of Edinburgh in 2020 is a great pleasure, surprise, and a brilliant positive memory to have of the generally tough year we have all faced. 2020 has been such an extraordinary and memorable year filled with many worries, hope, tragedy, joy, sadness and all the emotions in between. To receive the prize for 2020 is particularly touching with 2020 being the ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ (something we didn’t expect to be so literal at the start of the year!).
The nursing profession, along with other healthcare professional cohorts, has been celebrated more than ever over the last year as staff have been called upon in unprecedented ways, with the wider community recognising the sacrifices nurses make and the commitment they demonstrate not only during the Covid-19 pandemic but all the time. This makes me proud to be part of the nursing community and receiving the QNIS award demonstrates to me the important part I play within this community. Receiving the prize has boosted my confidence in my ability to achieve excellence in both the academic and practical aspects of being a student nurse – giving me the motivation to continue to work hard throughout my career.
Particularly recognised this year were the efforts of hospital nurses who have undoubtedly worked beyond their limits throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. However, less recognised were the community nurses who equally took on an increased patient caseload and continued in the background to uphold the finest standards in providing vital care for patients in the community. Since my first community nursing placement, I have been drawn to working in the community due to the positive experiences I have had. The close-knit teams and amazing nurse-patient relationships make nursing in the community particularly enjoyable.
Receiving this award confirms my beliefs that community nursing is well suited to me and it motivates me further to pursue this as a career path. I am very grateful to receive this prize in recognition of the work I have put in academically and on placement and now have increased self-confidence in my nursing ability moving forwards.