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University student celebrates win at national nursing awards

Date 1.05.2019

A University of Northampton nursing student was awarded a top honour at a prestigious national ceremony for his work supporting his peers.

Student Will McIlhiney – who comes from Northampton – was named Student Nurse of the Year for Mental Health Nursing at the Student Nursing Times Awards.

The citation from the award judges said this was in recognition of his “excellent values and characteristics” adding that his “humanism and warmth evidently makes positive changes to peoples’ lives.”

Commenting on the award, Will said: “It was such a surprise to have been nominated and shortlisted, I never expected to then go and win.

“I didn’t go into nursing for awards – few nurses do – but I’m pleased that the projects I’ve been involved in to support my peers to stick with their studies, avoid dropping out, and make things better for student nurses of the future have been recognised and have made such an impact for those around me.”

Donna Bray, Subject Lead for Nursing at the University said: “This was a well-deserved win. Will is one the most unassuming, humble men and has become an extraordinary mental health student nurse. He represents all that is great about the power of education.”

Timothy Alexander, Community Psychiatric Nurse from the Planned Care and Recovery Team (PCART) Will was part of added: “Will has consistently demonstrated an excellent attitude to learning with a focus on independently working towards obtaining the skills, knowledge and confidence to successfully make the transition to becoming a registered mental health nurse.

“Whilst he’s been with us, he has actively sought ways to improve both his and the team’s performance, for example developing a directory of local community services designed to enable information held within the team to be shared easily and efficiently.

“Will has consistently performed excellently and has demonstrated to a high level the skills and attitudes required of a registered mental health nurse, and we are delighted that he has won this award.”

Do you want to join Will? Find out more about nursing degrees at the University.