HRH The Princess Royal congratulated nurses and students celebrating the annual presentation of travel scholarships by the Cavell Nurses’ Trust in London last night.
The winners receive funding to help them travel internationally to extend their experience and knowledge of nursing care.
HRH, who is president of the Edith Cavell Centenary Appeal, presented the Edith Cavell Leadership Award to Charlotte Johnston. She plans to visit Ethiopia after winning a £2,000 scholarship, where she will experience working in a hospital and a palliative care clinic.
A second-year student at Lincoln University, Ms Johnston helped pioneer the first ever student nurse conference dedicated to pressure ulcer prevention, which took place in October year.
The idea grew from a tweet between Ruth May, chief nurse for the Midlands and East region, and Ms Johnston, who was then in the first year of her course. The conference, named Stop the Pressure-Lincoln, was attended by 500 students.
Ms Johnston was one of 14 scholarship winners.
Addressing the event, the Princess said: “I cannot speak for the decisions that are made into deciding who gets these scholarship awards, but I imagine it’s a difficult decision. The Cavell Trust supports a new generation of nurses to follow their interests and add experience to their skills.”
Meanwhile, chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings presented the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award to Myra Ariyaratnam.
The Community Award was presented by Embarrassing Bodies presenter Dr Christian Jessen to Aisha Gaido, and the Oustanding Student Midwife Award was given to Judith Jones by Royal College of Midwives president Professor Lesley Page.
In addition, the Outstanding Student Nurse Award was given to Joshua Kernohan by entrepreneur, businesswoman and charity campaigner Ann Gloag OBE.
The Princess also encouraged the audience to raise money for the Cavell Trust for its centenary next year, urging them to join those who are planning to climb the mountain named after the second world war nurse, whcih is in the Canadian Rockies. The trust supports current and retired nurses and midwives.
After her talk, HRH met with the audience, including winning and shortlisted students, Ms Cummings and Unison head of nursing Gail Adams.