A University of Worcester student has been shortlisted for a second prestigious nursing award.
Ricky Baker, of Eardisley, Herefordshire, who is in his final year studying children’s Nursing, has been shortlisted for Student Nurse of the Year in the Royal College of Nursing (RCNi) Awards, for his work in setting up the Children & Young People Student Nurse Network, an online peer support network for fellow student nurses.
Ricky is also in the running for Student Nurse of the Year (Children’s Nursing) in the Student Nursing Times Awards.
“I am thrilled to have been shortlisted as a finalist for the RCNi Nurse Awards 2020 for the category, Student Nurse,” he said. “This is now my second shortlisting and is really quite humbling.”
The Awards celebrate the best in nursing, student nurses and nursing support workers across the UK, from innovative projects to inspiring examples of patient care. A virtual awards ceremony will be held later in the year.
Twenty-eight-year-old Ricky set up the peer support network, alongside a fellow student nurse, as part of a project for the Council of Deans Student Leadership Programme, where he was one of 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.”
Ricky said the growing network had been particularly valuable during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Jackie Bentley, Senior Lecturer in Children’s Nursing, said: “Ricky is an outstanding Scholar, Practitioner and Student. Over the last three years Ricky has established himself as a true leader and one that the University of Worcester and the nursing profession are proud of. Ricky has outstanding interpersonal skills, is very creative and adaptable and approaches his professional life with humour and an admirable sense of humility. Ricky was quite simply made to be a children’s nurse. He is a true ambassador for the profession.”
Ricky added: “I want to inspire others to begin their journey in nursing, showcasing that nursing is a profession inclusive of all genders. It is incredible that the work I have done throughout my nursing degree at Worcester has been recognised and now celebrated in the year of the nurse and midwife.”
The World Health Assembly has designated 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
This year also marks 25 years of Nurse education at the University of Worcester. During that time, the University has trained many tens of thousands of professionals who are now working in hospitals, GP surgeries and care settings locally, nationally and across the world.
The University is currently shortlisted for Nurse Education Provider of the Year (pre-registration), Best Student Experience and Teaching Innovation of the Year in the Student Nursing Times Awards. Four Worcester students, including Ricky, are also shortlisted in the Awards, and Wye Valley NHS Trust’s Children’s Ward has been shortlisted for Student Placement of the Year: Hospital.