Michelle Harris Prize 2023


Michelle’s memorial prize awarded to nursing apprentice with top marks

A nursing degree apprentice at the University of Hull has been awarded the prestigious Michelle Harris prize for the highest marks in her year.

Emma Marston, one of City Health Care Partnership’s registered degree nurse apprentices on the Academy for Clinical Excellence scheme, is the first apprentice to win the award, which is now in its 24th year.

Emma scored an average of 92.7% in her first-year assignments, a truly impressive achievement since the apprentices have less personal study time than their classmates.

Michelle Harris Prize 2023

The Michelle Harris award commemorates the life and achievements of Michelle, a University of Hull nursing student who tragically died in a car crash just after qualifying. Her parents were members for the Glanford and Lindsey Lions Club and the charity established the annual award in 1999 in memory of their daughter. The award is presented to the first-year nursing student with the highest arrogated mark over the first year.

Professor Paul Hagan, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull, said: “I very much appreciate the sustained support of the Glanford and Lindsey Lions for the Michelle Harris Award. This year’s recipient, Emma Marston, is the first Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice to win the award.

“Degree Apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity for people to acquire degree level knowledge, skills and competencies in health and social care while remaining a key part of the frontline nursing workforce.

“Emma is part of the Adult Nursing apprenticeship cohort, her performance in her first year is truly exceptional and very much worthy of the Michelle Harris award.”

Now halfway through her second year, Emma is growing in skills and confidence as she continues her journey to become a registered nurse.

“I was an administrator for CHCP’s treatment rooms service,” she said, “but when the chance came up to apply for the nursing apprenticeship, I jumped at it. It’s such a supportive programme and you learn so much, but what sets it apart is that you get paid to do it!”

Jo Deighton, who is CHCP’s operational practitioner for clinical service development and one of the architects of the apprenticeship programme, said: “We wanted to open nursing apprenticeships up to people who don’t already have healthcare experience but who are keen to learn.

“We’re giving people who already work at CHCP the opportunity to become skilled clinicians, in partnership with the education providers.

“For example, if someone is working as an administrator and successfully applies for a healthcare apprenticeship through our Academy of Clinical Excellence, not only do we pay their tuition fees via the apprenticeship levy but also their salary, meaning the team where they were working can backfill their old job. This makes it possible for people who may have families or other commitments to get a healthcare qualification without having to worry about how they will repay debts at the end of the course.

“It’s a great way to keep valuable colleagues within CHCP while also growing our own skilled and experienced nurses of the future.”

Emma’s wife Becky, who came straight from a night shift as a doctor to help celebrate, said: “Emma works incredibly hard.”

“She puts in so much time, she really deserves this. She’s even a course rep at the University, supporting the other students.”

The award comes with a cheque for £250, which was a surprise to Emma. “I’m just really enjoying the course. I’m currently on placement with the West Hull community nursing team and I love it. The team are so supportive, I really like being out and about seeing patients. Ideally, I’d like to get a job with this team when I qualify.”

Jos said: “We’re so proud of Emma. “She’s an absolute credit to CHCP and I’m sure she’ll be an inspiration to others who want to take this route into a nursing career.”

The prize was presented to Emma by members of Glynford and Lindsey Lions Club at the University in February. Those attending the ceremony to celebrate Emma’s achievements included: From the University: Professor Paul Hagan, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences; Jacquie White, Interim Co-Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery; Kate Bowers Academic lead Nursing; Michelle Kennedy Programme lead RNDA; Deborah Robinson, Faculty Director for Professional External Engagement. From the Lions Club: Denis Cator, President Susan Cater, President David Carter and First Vice President Barbara Walker. From CHCP: Jo Deighton Operational Practitioner – Clinical Service Development: Amanda Herbert – Emma’s Line Manager and Lucy Flower, Communications Officer.

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