Last Thursday saw the Student Nursing Times Awards grace London - and it was a truly fantastic event.
The Awards celebrate the best in student nursing, commending the talent, passion and commitment of student nurses, clinical placements and universities.
The champagne flowed and the atmosphere was buzzing as winners took to the stage to receive their awards. It was great to see so many universities represented and hear inspirational speeches from experienced and distinguished figures in nursing that recognised and praised the work of student nurses – our nurses of the future.
As a newly qualified children’s nurse and student editor for children’s branch it was an honour to be invited to attend. I was particularly anxious as this was my first formal awards ceremony and the nerves were taking hold as I caught the train from Southampton and navigated the Underground to the Hilton on Park Lane.
The student editors had been asked to stand on stage to give out the coveted awards. The prospect of standing up in front of hundreds of people was rather terrifying. What would I wear? I needed new shoes. Luckily, the reality was pure joy. It was lovely to have lunch with Lucy Cleden-Smith and Rebecca Kidman, fellow student editors, as well as Fran Entwistle of Nursing Times who has been supporting me in the creation of my monthly blogs since September. Jenni Middleton did a fantastic job of presenting the ceremony, and wore fabulous, red shoes that sparkled. If you haven’t yet seen the photos then you can see them here.
I was seated on a table next to Thomas Creedon, involved in setting up the event, and he shared that over the last few years the attendance and popularity of the occasion had considerably grown. This certainly appeared to be true as the room was full to bursting and the “whoops” of excitement when the winners were announced served to show just how valued the Awards are. There were many positive tweets that appeared on the big screens beside the stage, posted by attendees. Cheers went up from each table and wine glasses clinked as messages appeared for all to see.
I urge student nurses and anyone involved with nurse training to be a part of next year’s Awards by registering their interest now. As a student I met some special people both in university and on placement who were able to teach, support and develop my skills in a way that deserves recognition. Further, I came across student nurses whose passion for this caring profession was truly remarkable. Do you know anyone like this?
The Student Nursing Times Awards are great fun, inspirational and the perfect opportunity to meet others that care about the future of nursing. Make sure you don’t miss out in 2016.
Chloe Alden-Dennis is Student Nursing Times’ student editor for children’s branch