Ricky Baker, who set up a nationwide peer support network dedicated to student children’s nurses, alongside studying for his degree in Nursing (Children's) BSc (Hons), is celebrating his graduation this week.
Ricky Baker’s efforts to provide support to students across the nation led him to being selected as a finalist in the national Nursing Times and Royal College of Nursing (RCNi) Awards. He also went onto win the Good Nurse Award in the Hereford Times Health and Social Care Awards.
Now he is graduating after completing his Children’s Nursing degree during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I never thought I would have got to where I am today and it seems surreal calling myself a nurse and others referring to me as one,” said the 28-year-old from Herefordshire. “Graduation this year will be not only be a celebration of the next generation of nurses in our profession, but is also a time for reflection, remembering our nursing colleagues across the world who we have sadly lost along the way during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Ricky set up the Children and Young Person Student Nurse Network on Social Media, alongside a fellow student nurse, as part of his work on the Council of Deans Student Leadership Programme. He was one of the 50 healthcare students to be accepted onto the 2019 cohort nationally.
“I felt that child nursing students were often underrepresented and wanted to give us a collective voice in the nursing community,” he said. “The formation of the Children and Young Person Student Nurse Network has allowed us to create a national network where students can access support and advice from peers who are on the same course at a national level.”
He said the growing network had been particularly valuable during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now working as a Children’s Nurse at Wye Valley NHS Trust, he says his time at University and the opportunities he had been given, made him into the nurse he is today.
He said: “The University has presented me with many opportunities and from these I have had such fulfilling and enriched learning experiences, which have inspired and encouraged me to make a difference as a student nurse, and to this day, influence positive change and showcase initiative within nursing.”