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L-R Rebecca Stewart; Sue Tweddell; Mia Easthope, Tracy Ord, Sumaiya Miah, Joanna Vintis and Amy Barlow
L-R Rebecca Stewart; Sue Tweddell; Mia Easthope, Tracy Ord, Sumaiya Miah, Joanna Vintis and Amy Barlow

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Student nursing team make finals of prestigious nursing awards

A team of student nurses at Northumbria University have been hailed as among the very best in nursing, having made the finals of the Royal College of Nursing’s Nursing Awards.

The four students were nominated as a team in the Nursing Student category and will find out later this year if they have won against fellow finalists from Bournemouth, Keele, Leeds and the Open University.

Amy Barlow, Rebecca Stewart, Mia Easthope and Sumaiya Miah were so successful in helping members of one Northumberland community to reduce their risk of diabetes by providing health advice that they inspired the development of a new initiative within the wider county.

The Nurses on Tour initiative, inspired by the team’s work with 70 patients across one morning at Seghill’s Netherfield House Surgery, will see student nurses across Northumberland work directly with patients in different areas of the county. The scheme is endorsed by Senior Lecturer Tracy Ord, who supported the students in their innovative and creative delivery of healthcare services, including blood pressure, height and weight checks, alcohol and smoking screening, and blood tests when needed, to detect and help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

The nomination, made by Joanna Vintis, Practice Link Nurse at NHS Northumberland, whose role it is to strengthen the professional links between GP practices and students, stated: “This team worked alongside practice nurses, pharmacy, and a digital weight management service to create a diabetes prevention event.

“Thirty patients needed blood pressure reviews, four were diagnosed with diabetes and every patient was followed up and given advice on how to reduce their risks of developing type 2 diabetes.

“The nursing students produced patient information leaflets, which included family activities, recipes, and ideas about exercising, and explored the mental health impact of being diagnosed with a long-term condition. Feedback from patients has been outstanding.”

Susan Tweddell, Practice Education Facilitator in the University’s Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, supervises the students. She said: “This honour demonstrates the value that nurses can add within the primary care environment in helping people prevent life-limiting conditions, as well as the high levels of teamwork and initiative required of today’s nurses.

“This group of students have already made such a difference to their placement provider and its patients, and I’ve no doubt they’ll transform many more lives as they progress in their postgraduate careers. We’re very proud to be able to introduce such proactive individuals to the world of nursing.”

On behalf of all the shortlisted students, Amy Barlow said: “Placement is such an important part of our training, and we all feel privileged to have been recognised in this way, especially because our nomination was based on feedback from patients who attended our event.

“We hope Nurses on Tour goes from strength to strength and want to thank the whole team at Netherfield House for their incredible support.”

Joanna added: “Our communities are becoming more and more diverse, making primary care as vibrant a career in which to develop as the more well-known hospital setting.

“Lots of luck to this student team who demonstrated strength in numbers, as well as showcasing their individual skills in the creation of this brilliantly impactful event.”

Northumbria University is one of the largest providers of nursing education in the North of England, offering programmes in adult, children’s, mental health and learning disabilities nursing, as well as midwifery and operating department practice. It recently became an approved Nursing and Midwifery Council Competence Test Centre.

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