A University of Hull student has been shortlisted for a nursing award in her final year of her studies, in recognition of her contribution while at University.
The Student Nursing Times Awards recognise and pay tribute to exceptional contributions to nursing: from highlighting commitment to the future of the nursing profession, to celebrating outstanding learning and teaching.
Sam Kitchen, who is in the final year of her Learning Disability degree, has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs award. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on Thursday 4 November.
After struggling with her own mental health, Sam, who is a former music student, decided to pursue a career in Learning Disability Nursing.
Her contribution included the setting up of the Hull University Nursing Society, being a course representative, being a member of the @westudentnurse team on Twitter and through her role as a Royal College of Nursing Students Committee member.
On being shortlisted for the Nursing Times award Sam said: “I am delighted to have been shortlisted for the award. I have worked hard with fellow committee members to create an invaluable support network for student nurses through creating Hull University Nursing Society. Starting an open conversation between students and staff I think has benefited all parties, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As a Student Nurse, Sam recognised the importance of a community of support to enrich the experience of University life and was instrumental in creating the Hull Nursing Society. The society supports student nurses from all fields, cohorts and programmes by providing advice on University life, placements, general health and wellbeing as well as organising events.
Sharon Hopton, Programme Director for Learning Disability Nursing who nominated Sam for the award, said: “Sam identified that there was the potential to develop a society specifically for nursing students from all fields and programmes. The overall aim of the society being to connect nursing students by creating an interdisciplinary community of support.
“The COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the early stages of developing this society, however, this did not deter Sam, in fact it became more evident that this society would enable nursing students to connect and feel supported by each other during these unprecedented and challenging times.
Sam continues to inspire others by uploading blogs to the Hull Nursing Society website, which includes advice on placements and signposting students to support services.
The society was nominated by the Hull University Students Union for an award for Outstanding Committee Excellence for the National Awards of Societies and Volunteering, of which they were runners up in May 2021.
Sam recently started a 6 week placement at Granville Court – a specialist nursing home. The home provides care for adults who have profound and multiple learning disabilities, alongside complex physical health needs.
On being asked what personal qualities make a good nurse, Sam said being a passionate advocate following her own experiences with mental health difficulties.
For details of nursing courses at the University of Hull, please visit our website.
100% of nursing, midwifery and medical graduates are in employment or further education within 15 months, for the second consecutive year.*
* UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Higher Education Graduate Outcomes statistics, for the academic year 2018/19, published by HESA July 2021).