A leading nurse and equality campaigner has been named among the top 10 most influential black people in Britain.
Laura Serrant, professor of nursing at Sheffield Hallam University, appears at number eight on the annual Powerlist of the 100 most influential people of African and Caribbean heritage.
“I feel incredibly privileged to be listed in the top 10 alongside some truly inspirational people”
Professor Serrant said she was honoured to feature in the list, which recognises the achievements of men and women across a range of sectors including science, technology and the arts.
The initiative, which last year celebrated its 10th anniversary, is run by Powerful Media, a database company that focuses on minority groups.
The winners were revealed last night at a gala dinner in London. The event was sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group, EY, Viacom and ELC.
One of only six black professors of nursing in the UK, she has had a long and distinguished career in nursing and is currently chair of the chief nursing officer for England’s black and minority ethnic (BME) strategic advisory group.
She was named a Nursing Times Nurse Leader in 2015 and also appeared on a powerlist of 100 clinical leaders drawn up by the Health Service Journal in 2014 and in the same year one on influential NHS leaders from BME backgrounds.
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Nurse on ‘powerlist’ of most influential black people in the UK
Having graduated from Sheffield Hallam, Professor Serrant began her nursing career working with vulnerable groups including BME communities, sex workers, people affected by drug and alcohol misuse and the homeless, as well as championing the needs of people with HIV and AIDS.
She later moved into academia with her specialist areas of research including health disparities, diversity leadership, sexual health and cross-cultural issues in health and wellbeing.
Her many achievements include developing and publishing a theoretical framework for conducting research into compassion in practice.
She has also won numerous awards including a fellowship of the Queen’s Nursing Institute for her leadership in community nursing.
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In 2010, she was appointed to the prime minister’s commission for the review of nursing and midwifery and has continued to advise government on nursing and equality issues.
She is currently a member of the government’s independent advisory group on BME issues and an ambassador for the Equality Challenge Unit for Higher Education.
As an ambassador to the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, Professor Serrant campaigned for the Jamaican-born nursing pioneer to be honoured for her services in caring for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War.
The campaign led to the unveiling of the memorial statue in the gardens of St Thomas’ Hospital in London last year.
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“I am truly honoured and astounded to be recognised in the Powerlist 2018 and I feel incredibly privileged to be listed in the top 10 alongside some truly inspirational people,” said Professor Serrant.
“At this time in history, it is important that we appreciate and recognise the valuable contributions we make as a diverse society,” she added.
Businesswoman Gina Miller was named as number one in the list. The 52-year-old led the successful Brexit legal challenge that ruled parliament had to vote before it could trigger Article 50.
British Vogue editor Edward Enninful and grime artist Stormzy have also been included in this year’s list. Nearly half of the list for 2018 were women.
Those on it were decided by an independent panel – including former High Court judge Dame Linda Dobbs and former Apprentice winner Tim Campbell – which rated nominees on their “ability to change lives and alter events”.