Former chief nursing officer for England Dame Christine Beasley has been awarded an honorary doctorate by nurse educator Buckinghamshire New University.
The well-respected nursing figure was recognised for her distinguished career, her role as CNO and her broad experience of policy development and leadership.
“It not only recognises me personally but also all those who have worked with me over the years to make changes to nursing and healthcare”
Dame Christine, a former chair of council at the university, received the award from its current vice-chancellor Professor Rebecca Bunting during a week of graduation celebrations.
During her seven-years as CNO between October 2004 and the same month in 2011, she was credited with her achievements on infection control and single-sex wards.
Her tenure was also extended to cover the period of upheaval during the coalition government reforms that saw NHS England and clinical commissioning groups created, and primary care trusts disbanded.
As a result of these reforms, she was the last CNO to be based at the Department of Health. The present incumbent, Jane Cummings, is located with government arm’s length body NHS England.
Dame Christine said: “I am both proud and humble that the university offered me this award. It not only recognises me personally but also all those who have worked with me over the years to make changes to nursing and healthcare.
Former CNO given Bucks New University honorary doctorate
“I have been privileged to help raise the profile and contribution of nurses to improving health and healthcare, and I am delighted that whilst I was chief nursing officer the decision was made to take the level of registration for nurses to degree level, so that they are rightly prepared for the challenges that are ahead of them,” she said.
“I am also proud that I led the work nationally that highlighted the unacceptable level of MRSA and C. difficile and the national reduction that followed,” she added.
Sue West, dean of the university’s faculty of society and health, said: “Christine has given so much to the profession of which I am proud to belong and graduates at her ceremony this week have commented that she is a true inspiration.”
Bucks New, which was founded in 1891 and officially awarded university status in 2007, has campuses in High Wycombe, Uxbridge, Great Missenden, and Aylesbury.
One of the leading providers of nursing students in North West London, it won the Education Provider of the Year (post-registration) category at the 2015 Student Nursing Times Awards.
Dame Christine has previously been awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Northumbria, Sheffield Hallam, Keele, Plymouth, and City University, London.