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RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery recognise high achievers


The highest achieving nursing and midwifery professionals in the north-east have been recognised by Robert Gordon University (RGU).

L to R - Elinor Smith, Director of Nursing and Quality NHS Grampian, Beverley Brown, Neil Fiddes, Katie Watt and Professor Ian Murray, RGU's Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery.The university’s School of Nursing and Midwifery announced the winners of its annual prizes at a ceremony in the Faculty of Health and Social Care on Friday, January 10.

Awards conferred included the Mentor of the Year Award, the Jennie Parry Prize for Clinical Excellence and the Honourable Lady Bannatyne Prize for students in the field of Children and Young People’s (CYP) Nursing.

Professor Ian Murray, RGU's Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Elinor Smith, Director of Nursing and Quality at NHS Grampian, presented each of the awards.

Staff nurse Katie Watt, from Turriff received the Mentor of the Year Award, becoming the first Mental Health Nurse to scoop the prize.

She said: “I am delighted to be recognised as Mentor of the Year particularly given that it is an achievement that has not been recognised within mental health previously.

“My role within the adult mental health directorate is busy and challenging however I feel that the mentoring of nursing students is a key component of that role and essential to the development of the nursing workforce for the future.”

Katie (25) was nominated by students Alan Rucroft and Kelly Cooper, both BN Mental Health Students now in their third year. Alan said: “Katie is a fantastic model of what a mental health nurse should be. She reinforces the importance of forming a therapeutic relationship with all patients who enter the ward. She is professional, knowledgeable and caring but most of all approachable to all.

“I hope that when I qualify as a registered mental health nurse that I can work to the standards and with the compassion which Katie shows on a daily basis.”

Recent Adult Nursing graduate Beverley Brown, from Aberdeen, scooped the Jennie Parry Prize for Clinical Excellence. The award was donated by the retired Head of School for a student who, throughout their training, demonstrated actual or potential leadership and clinical excellence.

Beverley (26), said: “It is a privilege to receive this award. I dedicated myself to my nursing studies and threw myself into it head first, volunteering for as many diverse experiences as possible and it is an honour to be recognised for something I enjoy so much.

“I owe this to my mentors and lecturers who supported me and nurtured me into the nurse that I have become. Now I am qualified I look forward to having students of my own to mentor, motivate and hopefully pass on my passion for caring to them.”

On her nomination form, Beverley’s personal tutor Jane McBey said that she is an exceptional student whose friendly demeanour, commitment and professionalism helped her stand apart from other students on her course.

Jane added: “Beverley has actively promoted and participated in the School’s international affairs, via the Erasmus Programme, the Grampian Houston exchange and the ENNE (European Network of Nursing in Higher Education) 2012 student conference. She is an amazing role model for student nurses, a fantastic ambassador for the School and RGU, and rather humble in her achievements.”

Recent Children’s and Young People Nursing graduate Neil Fiddes from Inverness claimed the Honourable Lady Bannatyne Prize.

Lady Bannatyne lectured at the university for 28 years, primarily specialising in children and young people nursing. During this time she was known by her former name, Mrs Rose Smith.

After her retirement in 2009 she married Lord Bannatyne (Iain Peebles) - a judge of the High Court of Justiciary and Court of Session in Scotland - and consequently took the honorary title of Lady Bannatyne.

Neil (27) said: “Finding out I had won the Honourable Lady Bannatyne Award was a great surprise. The three years of my course were enjoyable and to be recognised for all the work I put in is a great feeling.  Everyone in my class worked just as hard as me though and it is a shame that the award could not be shared.”

In her nomination form, Neil’s personal tutor Leanna Will wrote: “Neil has made excellent progress on the course academically and clinically and has availed himself of a range of extracurricular activities and opportunities, for example volunteer weekends for Diabetes UK and presentation at ENTER (Enhancing Nursing Through educational Research) conference. Neil has been an exemplary student nurse throughout the three year programme and been a champion of CYP nursing.”

Alison McLennan, Head of Practice Learning at RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “I would like to offer my personal congratulations to all of our prize winners for their outstanding contributions to the ongoing educational development of nurses.

“Choosing the recipients for each award was no easy task due to the high standards of all the nurses and midwives who were nominated and I know this year’s winners will continue to show their passion for educational development and the nursing profession.”


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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport