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Two top community nurisng students in Highlands receive awards

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Two students have received awards for their outstanding work to promote community nursing in Scotland.

Patricia Thomas and Tony Clapham have both received an academic award from the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland, highlighting their dedication to community nursing.

”The course material has taken me out of my comfort zone of nursing”

Patricia Thomas

Ms Thomas, 48, works as a district nurse with NHS Highland and is also studying for a postgraduate diploma in health and wellbeing with the University of the Highlands and Islands at Lews College.

Mr Clapham, 47, works as a community learning disabilities nurse with NHS Highland in Fort William and is also studying for a MA health and wellbeing with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Both were presented with a QNIS certificate and a cash prize by Dr Rachel Erskine, the university’s programme leader for its MA health and wellbeing, in Inverness last month.

Ms Thomas said: “I was pleased to receive the award. The course material has taken me out of my comfort zone of nursing and has given me the opportunity of looking at other broader topics such as green spaces.”

Meanwhile, Mr Clapham described receiving the award as “humbling and an unexpected honour”.

“As a learning disabilities nurse, a core part of my role is to identify and find ways to resolve the sometimes unexpected additional healthcare needs that my patients are more likely to experience,” he said.

Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland

Top community student nurses receive awards

Tony Clapham and Rachel Erskine

“My studies have helped me to look into these challenges to their health in greater depth and to share that knowledge with others,” said Mr Clapham.

Clare Cable, chief executive and nurse director of QNIS, said both nurses had illustrated their “outstanding commitment to community nursing”.

Both had also “continued the proud traditions of our Queen’s Nurses who, for many years, provided excellent nursing across the communities of the Highlands and Islands”, she said.

Dr Erskine added that the pair were “excellent” students and “deserving” recipients of the QNIS award.

“We are delighted to be building links between our MA health and wellbeing programme and the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland,” she said.

“We hope our relationship will continue to develop when the university starts to deliver pre-registration nurse education programme for BSc mental health nursing and BSc adult nursing next year,” she said.

The QNIS is a charity aiming to promote excellence in community nursing to improve the health and well-being of the people of Scotland.

Pat Tyrrell, deputy director of nursing and midwifery within NHS Highland, is a QNIS trustee.

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