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Hard work and diligence win student a national award

Date 28.10.2020

The leadership, influence, empathy skills and diligence of a hard-working nursing student have positively benefitted her peers and the patients, parents and carers she works with.

The comments were made by lecturers at the University of Northampton about Lauretta Ofulue, who is shortly due to complete her degree in learning disability.

They were made in their application for a national award to recognise her professionalism and dedication. Lauretta went on to win Student of the Year: Learning Disability (LD) at last night’s (Tuesday 27 October) Nursing Times Award ceremony.

Lauretta decided to join the ranks after a career as an economist in Nigeria, then in the financial services sector in the UK. She experienced first-hand the excellent care and communication skills of an LD nurse when her son Otito, who had a learning disability, was ill in hospital.

Sadly, Otito later died but Lauretta has channelled her heartache into something positive by training for the profession so parents like herself and husband Jerry also receive that level of care and understanding.

Lauretta said: “Firstly, I would like to thank the fabulous lecturing team at the University of Northampton for putting me up for this award in the first place. To get the nomination was reward enough, to win was quite unexpected. It goes without saying that without learning ‘the ropes’ from them, this award wouldn’t have been possible.

“As all nurses know, we do what we do because we want to care for and help other people. It’s never about winning awards, but I hope this win spotlights attention on a field of nursing I will forever be passionate about.”

Senior Lecturer in Learning Disability Nursing Rachel Beckett made numerous positive comments in the nomination citation as testament to Lauretta’s professionalism and dedication:

“The cohort is one of the most positive and innovative cohorts, which is partly as a direct result of Lauretta’s leadership and influence.”

“Her experience has contributed towards her unique ability to empathise with the people she works with in her practice areas…she uses gentle and effective interpersonal skills to increase her relationships and uses her experiences appropriately to adapt her communication to meet the communication needs of the people she works with.”

“Lauretta has changed her whole life to ensure that she has a positive impact on the care and lives of people with learning disabilities and she has the potential to continue inspiring people and making positive changes.”

Donna Bray, Subject Lead for Nursing at the University of Northampton, said: “This is a well deserved and deservedly earned award win and I send all the congratulations I can muster to Lauretta.

“Throughout her time at the University, she has challenged us to do better and be better and that’s what’s so remarkable about her. She is a true Changemaker and I know she will continue to do good things when she finishes her studies.”

Catch up with previous stories about Lauretta on our news page.

If you want to join Lauretta as a learning disability nurse, see our course page.