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OU Nursing Graduates receive NIPEC Student Excellence Award

A photograph of OU nursing graduates Lucy Duke and Shelley Taylor pictured standing in front of an OU banner and an NIPEC banner with their award.

Two Nursing Graduates from the OU’s School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care were delighted to receive the well-respected Northern Ireland Practice Education Council for Nursing (NIPEC) Student Excellence Award. 

The NIPEC Student Excellence Award celebrates dedication, passion and excellence in nursing and was presented to Lucy Duke (pictured left) and Shelley Taylor (pictured right) for their exceptional contribution to the profession. 

Lucy, a Registered Mental Health Nurse at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust (SHSCT), was praised for supporting the medical needs of young people in a kind, caring and patient manner. She was also applauded for going above and beyond her clinical role to assist colleagues working in the Eating Disorder Service, where she helped to support young people who were acutely unwell and/or in crisis. In addition to this, Lucy has been developing a mental health programme for young people with an intellectual disability.

Commenting on her journey to becoming a nurse, Lucy said: “I’ve always loved working with people, and I’ve always loved to be able to help people. When the opportunity came up for me to study nursing, it was a no brainer, mental health in particular, because I’ve always been very fascinated with the mind and why people do things. When the opportunity came up to apply for the OU Nursing Programme, I really couldn’t say no.”

Shelley Taylor, a Registered Adult Nurse with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT), was praised for demonstrating key interpersonal skills. Her nominator commended Shelley’s emotional intelligence, most notably her awareness of families who may need to take a bit more time, observing that she never rushes them or makes them feel that they are holding her back. Shelley's colleagues were quick to praise her ability to collaborate effectively with healthcare teams. She was integral to the development and implementation of an initiative empowering mothers to breastfeed in public.

Shelley, who began her health and social care journey in 2002 when she joined the NHSCT as a Child Health Assistant, said: “I have worked for the Northern trust for the last 22 years of my life. Coming a bit late to the party of the Nursing Degree, but I always felt like I had more to give and more I wanted to do. So, I decided to seek out the opportunity and was able to access and become an OU nursing student. Prior to completing my degree, I was a Child Health Assistant under the skilled nursing and health visiting public health nursing team. I am now a staff nurse in the Acute Medicine Ward within the Northern Trust.”

Donna Gallagher, Nation Manager of the Nursing Programme at The Open University in Ireland, commented: "Lucy and Shelley exemplify the dedication, compassion, and innovation that our nursing program strives to instil in all our students. Their success reflects the outstanding quality of our nursing education and the strong partnerships we have established with healthcare providers in Northern Ireland."

Rebecca Garcia, Associate Head of School for Nursing and Health Professions added: “Lucy and Shelley have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the nursing profession and reflect the quality of OU nurse education and our strong working partnerships in Northern Ireland. This award is well deserved. We are very proud of them both.”

To find out more about nursing at The Open University, read about our Nursing and Healthcare courses.


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