Success at Student Nursing Times Awards

30 November 2021

A University of Derby graduate has won a national award for her work during the pandemic in supporting people who are Deaf.  

Tarnia Lefevre, who recently graduated from the University, was awarded the title of ‘Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year’ at the Student Nursing Times Awards 2021. 

Tarnia, who works for Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in a specialist team providing mental health support for service users who are Deaf, enrolled on the University’s Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship programme in 2019, to continue her professional and personal development.  

Her work supporting patients and how she has adapted to continue to provide high quality care throughout the pandemic, led to her winning the accolade, which was announced at an awards ceremony in London. 

Tarnia, who graduated from the University said: “I believe that I, like many other trainees, worked really hard to keep services running during the pandemic, and while it goes against our natural instincts as nurses to be modest and focus on our clients, this does not always equate to sharing good practice.  

“This led me to nominating myself, more to mark the work I had done, never actually believing that I would be shortlisted and actually win. 

“I’m honoured to have received the award, especially with so many worthy finalists in attendance. I’m also really excited by the opportunity it affords me to really highlight the need for equality in healthcare for the Deaf community.  

“The award win has given me a confidence boost, knowing I can achieve. It’s been an exciting journey working through the University, and this feels like the cherry on the cake!” 

The Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship programme at the University of Derby is aimed at entrants from a wide variety of backgrounds reflecting the breadth of the health and social care workforce. It has been developed through close consultation and collaboration with employers and is directly linked to the delivery of care in practice.  

Tracey Whitmore, Programme Leader and a Senior Lecturer in Pre-qualifying Health Care at the University, said: “The programme team is extremely proud of Tarnia’s achievements and we all know that she will excel in the role of Nursing Associate. 

“Tarnia’s peers also agree with this sentiment, which has also resulted in Tarnia winning the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Programme ‘Care and Compassion’ award which is presented to one person in each Nursing Associate apprenticeship cohort for making a positive contribution to either patient care, peer wellbeing, or professional practice.” 

Anne-Maria Newham, Executive Director of Nursing AHPs and Quality at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Tarnia won this award. This is thoroughly deserved as she does a fantastic job providing exceptional care. She looked at ways to adapt to ensure this outstanding care continued throughout challenging times. Huge congratulations.” 

This the second year running a University of Derby graduate has won this category. John Podmore was named Nursing Associate Trainee of the Year in the Nursing Times Student Awards 2020. 

The University was also nominated in four other categories at the 2021 Student Nursing Times Awards. More information about the awards can be found here. 

Find out more information about the University’s Nursing Associate programme.

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