Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

‘Youngest nurse lecturer’ gains role 15 months after graduating


A passionate nurse is celebrating after becoming what is believed to be the youngest lecturer in the country – just 15 months after graduating from the university herself.

Zoe Butler left the University of Cumbria in July last year with a degree in adult nursing, and subsequently secured a job as a registered nurse in trauma at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

“It’s my passion that got me into nursing and I want to inspire my students and instil them with the same feeling”

Zoe Butler 

Ms Butler had already proved herself to be a high-flier, winning the national Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award 2017, in recognition of her work to reduce the stigma of mental health among young people. 

The rising star is now set to return to the university where she studied to build upon her sterling reputation – but this time as a member of staff.

Ms Butler, from Kendal, has been appointed lecturer in “assistant practitioners in health and social care”, an apprenticeship programme aimed at support workers who want a pathway into nursing or allied health professions.

At the age of 22, Ms Butler is thought to be the youngest person in England to gain such a position.

Ms Butler, who will continue to work at the hospital while teaching, said she was not expecting to be chosen for the role.

zoe butler

zoe butler

Zoe Butler

“I couldn’t quite believe I got the job, but I am over the moon that I have,” she said. “It’s my passion that got me into nursing and I want to inspire my students and instil them with the same feeling.”

She added: “I am so proud to be a part of the university. I aim to be innovative, excite my students and provide them with the skills to become lifelong learners and leaders in the workplace.”

Michelle Garner, principal lecturer at the Department of Nursing, Health and Professional Practice at the University of Cumbria, said she was pleased to have Ms Butler on board.

“Zoe was an outstanding student and I’m sure she will make a marvellous member of staff,” said Ms Garner.

“Her dedication to the profession, her passion for promoting the job to others and her supportive nature means she is the perfect candidate for the job and I look forward to having her on my team,” she added.

In the future, Ms Butler plans to complete a master’s degree in clinical education at the University of Cumbria.


Readers' comments (7)

  • I am sorry but I wouldn't have much faith in her clinical abilities to teach anyone. Experience no longer counts then??

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Agree, sad state of affairs.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • HCSW

    You guys are to harsh in tour critics. She WANTS to achieve something and she will get there. I believe her passion and the strong will can substitute for the decade of experience.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree with the first two comment she cannot teach nursing if she hasn't lived nursing. I have done several course in my time as a nurse and one of the common theme amongst nurse lecturers is that you will always hear "I remember a time when this happen or that happen and this is how we dealt with it " etc. Nursing is a practical profession how can you teach someone the how to do a manual blood pressure if you have no experience doing one yourself. Would you trust a newly qualified driver to be a driving instructor I guess not! The funny side of this is maybe she might use YouTube to teach LOL!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well, first of all congratulations to her for securing such a position at such a young age. However, am a little surprised that a university would make such a bold move regarding employing someone to such a key position who, well frankly, lacks experience of that which she may find herself teaching! Lets face it, we all know that it takes quite a long time post-qualifying to really build up a body of confidence and real knowledge about caring for people. Theory and evidence-based care is essential, but actually, most of what nurses do in care-settings is practical, although the role is certainly complex, whichever setting you work in. There is a body of evidence(spoiler alert, not rocket science) that supports the idea that practice is the key to becoming a specialist in your field. One wonders if the university in question has heard of it.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment


    A huge achievement congratulations!! rise to both positions and don't look back. Don't entirely understand the negativity as this young lady is fulfilling both roles so continues to learn in both which is surely work in progress. The University has seen the potential in you and I feel that they have made a great move. Be proud and hold your head up as your journey unfolds.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Passion is the key but experience counts still. A question they will asked is your work experience and what you can bring to the position. I have seen the post advertised and I was offered to apply but opted to stay in the clinical as an educator for 3 years now and been a nurse for 18 years, but I think a person experience in my opinion should be a priority. I'm not being negative but all I can say is 'good luck to her new job'.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.