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Bernadette’s fascination with the mind leads to award nomination

Staff Nurse and Open University graduate Bernadette Guthrie has been shortlisted for a Nursing Times Student Award in the ‘Learner of the Year: Post-registration’ category. Inspired by research undertaken for her Masters at the OU, the 1,000 word essay which contributed to her selection for the award was titled, ‘Mental Health: Hope on the horizon for patients with treatment-resistant depression’, and looked at the use of Psilocybin Therapy as a therapeutic model for treatment-resistant depression.

The Nursing Times Student Awards were due to take place in Spring 2020 but have been postponed until 27 October when a virtual awards ceremony will take place. Another OU Student Nurse, Solomon Jones, is nominated for the Mary Seacole Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion.

After working as a psychiatric nurse for around 20 years, Bernadette took a break from practice to bring up her two daughters. During this time an OU leaflet dropped through her door and she leapt at the chance to return to study. She completed an Psychology degree with the OU in 2010 at the age of 52 and followed this up with a certificate in Mental Health. Throughout the years, and after returning to work as a Staff Nurse at a private mental health facility, Bernadette’s hunger for knowledge and fascination with the mind never ceased and she went on to complete a Masters in Mental Health Science with the OU in 2019. Much of her recent study was done on her mobile phone whilst commuting to and from her mother’s house as she cared for her in the last years of her life.

Bernadette’s advice to anyone considering OU study is simple: “Study a subject that you’re passionate about. Having a thirst for knowledge about a topic means you’re keen to learn about it; not just for the academic qualification.”

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