Two inspiring nursing associates have been acknowledged for their achievements with a new award named in honour of Health Education England (HEE)’s chief nurse.
Yvonne Reid-Hermitt and Paula Campbell-Powell received the award for ‘Most Outstanding’ students from namesake Lisa Bayliss-Pratt during their graduation ceremony at Manchester Metropolitan University.
A delighted Lisa said: “Yvonne and Paula encapsulate all that’s great about our wonderful nursing profession with their determination, hard work, focus and willingness to achieve, despite the personal obstacles I know they have had to overcome.
“Over the past two years it’s been so gratifying to see the growing success of the trainee nursing associate programme across the country, and Yvonne and Paula are testament to the great value of this role, with their passion to make a difference to the people they work with, to their communities and their families.”
The Lisa Bayliss-Pratt Award recognises students who demonstrate significant progression and overcome adversity to qualify as nursing associates.
Both Paula and Yvonne worked as healthcare support workers before training for their new roles.
Mother-of-three Yvonne, 45, who works on Manchester Royal Infirmary’s general surgical wards, said: “It’s overwhelming. I feel unbelievably proud and honoured.
“Becoming a nursing associate has made everything possible for me – it’s changed my life.
“I left school with GCSE Maths and English and I always wanted to be a nurse – I just felt it in my body. Now I have a degree – a degree! – and I’m on my way there. When you have an opportunity like this you grab it with both hands.
“It’s given me a sense of real fulfilment, purpose. I’m a professional now – I really feel like a confident part of the team, and I can do so much more to be an advocate for my patients. I have the skills to take responsibility. Of course I’m going to call a doctor, of course I’m going to call a physio, of course I’m going to chase a patient’s progress…
“Patients need to leave hospital with more than pills – they need to know that someone was always kind to them, always listening and always supporting them.”
Yvonne and Paula are among more than 1,000 trainees who have graduated so far to become part of the new nursing associate profession, which seeks to bridge the gap between the healthcare support workforce and fully-qualified registered nurses.
The training programme, developed by HEE, was set up in 2017 and continues to go from strength to strength.
Members of the first cohort joined the Nursing & Midwifery Council register in January this year.
More than 5,000 new trainees started in 2018 and another 7,500 are planned this year.
Professor Laura Serrant OBE, Head of Nursing at Manchester Met said: “It was a privilege to welcome Lisa to our celebration of our fantastic nursing students. Lisa’s dedication to training a workforce that is reflective of the community it serves is particularly resonant in cities such as Manchester.
“All of our students are united by a shared goal to provide exceptional care for others, and it’s important that dedicated and passionate people like Paula and Yvonne have accessible routes to progress and develop. They, and all of our graduates, have achieved this with their hard work and determination and we couldn’t be prouder.”