Caroline Alexander, chief nurse at Barts Health NHS Trust, has been honoured by one of the capital’s leading universities for her contribution to the nursing profession.
On Wednesday she received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from City, University of London for her contributions to both nursing and the education provider’s School of Health Sciences itself.
“She is a true ambassador for the university and the nursing profession”
Ms Alexander was appointed as chief nurse at Barts Health NHS Trust, the largest NHS trust in England in early 2016, after a period as NHS England’s chief nurse for London.
Barts is viewed a key partner of the university, both for research and as a placement provider for nursing students. She was also an honorary professor at City for three years until 2012 and is now a visiting professor at Bucks New University.
Julie Attenborough, associate dean and director of undergraduate studies in the university’s health sciences school, said: “Caroline has made a huge contribute to nursing, and she is a true ambassador for the university and the nursing profession.
“In her career Caroline has shown visionary thinking, changed practice for the better and had a major positive impact on the nursing profession during a career that spans nearly 30 years,” she added.
Ms Alexander said: “It is a great honour to receive this award from City, University of London.
“Over the years I have worked with my colleagues at City and seen how nursing has developed and grown at the institution,” she said. “I look forward to continuing our relationship and seeing many more nursing students graduate from City at both Barts and other NHS institutions.”
In her speech to graduating students at the Barbican Centre, she “encouraged them to always grasp every opportunity to develop themselves but always be someone who supports others”.
Ms Alexander trained at Edinburgh University and subsequently specialised in nursing older people before moving into senior management roles.
She has previously held nursing director posts at the former Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust and afterwards for the PCT clusters of East London and the City, and then North East London.
In 2008 she was named as a Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholar and in 2015 was added to the Nursing Times Leaders list, which celebrates pioneers, entrepreneurs and inspirational role models.