A student nurse working at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has won a national nursing award celebrating excellence and leadership.
Pearl Sakoane, who is in her final year at King’s College London, has been named winner of the prestigious Edith Cavell Leadership Award 2015.
“I strongly feel that nursing leadership is hugely important”
The award is named after a nurse who cared for wounded soldiers from all sides during the First World War but was later executed by the Germans for helping allied prisoners escape from occupied Belgium. This year marks the centenary of her death.
For winning the award, Ms Sakoane received a £2,000 scholarship fund at a ceremony held in London last month.
Ms Sakoane, 28, was born in South Africa and moved to the UK when she was 13-years-old.
She was inspired to pursue a career in nursing because of the example set by her late mother, who was a nurse for more than 30 years.
She said: “I’m still in shock that I won – it’s a great honour. I strongly feel that nursing leadership is hugely important. Nurses need to feel empowered to make good decisions for their patients.”
Currently working with dementia patients at St Thomas’ Hospital, Ms Sakoane said she was interested in specialising in dementia care.
“Nursing patients with dementia is challenging but also really fulfilling,” she said. “The patients are fascinating and as a nurse you get to use your entire skill set.”