Derby graduate wins national student nursing associate award

20 November 2020

A University of Derby graduate has won a prestigious national nursing award for his work with patients who have learning disabilities while studying for his degree.

John Podmore was named as Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year in the Nursing Times Student Awards 2020.

John, who works for Elysium Healthcare in Cheadle, Staffordshire, enrolled on the University’s Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship programme in 2018, looking to develop his career, which he began as a healthcare assistant after leaving college.

Introduced in 2017, the role of nursing associate was created as a new band of registered professionals working alongside nurses to provide ‘hands-on’ care for patients, as well as forming the link between nursing staff and healthcare assistants.

Nominated for the quality of his work with patients and knowledge of his role, including the ethics of healthcare provision, his awards success was confirmed at a virtual ceremony.

“I’ve always loved helping people, and I have worked with so many nurses over the years who have inspired me to help make a change to a people’s lives,” said John

“The award is a massive accolade, so I was delighted to find out I had been nominated because I didn’t think of myself like that. For others to have that view of me was a great feeling, and when I found out I had won it I was overjoyed.”

His degree apprenticeship combined on-campus learning with training on the wards. When the Covid-19 pandemic led to the first UK lockdown, John, like thousands of others in healthcare, continued working with patients day in, day out, to provide the support and care they needed.

The 28-year-old has now formally registered as a Nursing Associate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and is already looking to progress to become a Registered Nurse working in mental health.

He said: “I really enjoy supporting people to find purpose and function in their life with complex needs, and being part of the process of recovery.

“Working alongside psychologists, doctors and therapists, and seeing the difference in each patient is truly inspiring. You know that you have done something really valuable to help someone.”

David Robertshaw, Head of Pre-Qualification Healthcare at the University of Derby’s College of Health, Psychology and Social Care, said: “It is vitally important that the work of nursing associates is recognised, and this award for John is very well-deserved.

“The nursing associate is still a relatively new role for the healthcare sector but is providing essential support to registered nurses. At a time when the healthcare sector needs to be as robust as possible to meet the demands placed upon it by the coronavirus pandemic, highly skilled nursing professionals at all levels are helping to save lives and deliver the best possible care for patients every day.”

Steve Ford, Editor of Nursing Times, said: “The health and social care sector has been at the forefront of meeting the challenge posed by Covid-19, with many students signing up to help on the front line or having to adapt their learning in other ways. It feels, therefore, doubly important this year to recognise the achievements of student nurses and their educators with these awards.”

To find out more about the Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship, visit our website.

Image of John Podmore, winner of Student Nursing Times Award for Nursing Associate Trainee 2020
John Podmore, winner of the Nursing Times Student Award for Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year

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