Staff and Students Shortlisted in Student Nursing Times Awards

Kevin Fernandez
Kevin Fernandez has been shortlisted in the University Educator of the Year category

The Awards pay tribute to student nurses and midwives and the programmes and people committed to providing outstanding training and education opportunities.

Kevin Fernandez, Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing and International Lead in the Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Worcester, has been shortlisted in the University Educator of the Year category.

Kevin joined the University two years ago having previously worked as a nurse both in the Philippines and the UK.

He said: “I’m really humbled to have been shortlisted in these awards. When I was a student nurse, I never thought one day I would be teaching the nurses of the future. But when I became a nurse, I loved mentoring students and knew that I wanted to share my passion with others and support them to become the best possible practitioner they aspired to be.”

Part of Kevin’s role at the University is to support international nursing students in their transition, integration and beyond.

Robert Dudley, Head of the Three Counties School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University, said: “Kevin is an outstanding academic, practitioner and scholar. Driven by his own lived experience of moving to the UK to study and coupled with a wide range of interpersonal and communication skills, Kevin is uniquely placed to support our international students. He has a positive nurturing and collaborative leadership approach, guiding our nursing students, many of whom are grappling with a new country, new culture and in many instances new way of learning. His impact is quite simply profound.”

Also shortlisted in the Student Nursing Times Awards are five Worcester students, including third year student Ash Bainbridge, who is shortlisted for Student Midwife of the Year; international student Chioma Eucharia Nnajidema, who is shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability; fellow international student Almy Anna John, who is shortlisted for Student Nurse of the Year: Clinical Research; and Julie Bayliss and Nicole Barr, who are both shortlisted for Nursing Associate Learner of the Year.

Robert Dudley added: “We are thrilled to have five students shortlisted in the awards. Their outstanding commitment and dedication to the nursing and midwifery profession is clear, as is the valuable contribution they make to the communities they serve.

“As Nursing and Midwifery educators, we empower our students to think critically and professionally about the challenges they face, so that they themselves can push for transformation and drive improvement in their services in the future.”

The winners will be announced on April 26 at a ceremony in London.


Ash Bainbridge NEW

Ash Bainbridge: shortlisted for Student Midwife of the Year

This is the second time that Ash Bainbridge has been shortlisted in the Student Nursing Times Awards, having been shortlisted for the Mary Seacole Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion in 2022.

“To be nominated and shortlisted for this award on the final stretch to qualification is incredibly validating,” they said. “I have worked - and continue to work - hard to evolve my clinical, academic, and interpersonal skills while advocating for perinatal care improvements for LGBTQ+ people building families via pregnancy. This work is possible because of the support I receive from student peers, lecturers, practice supervisors, birth workers, queer parents and allies, and my Trust’s staff LGBTQ+ network, and I’m immensely grateful. In the current UK climate, it’s more important than ever for students and staff to listen to LGBTQ+ service user voices and act so we can better pregnancy care experiences and outcomes for all.”

Third year Midwifery student Ash was inspired into a change of career after their own experiences of having children.

The parent-of-two, said: “They were each born in different parts of the country, and I received different care welcoming them to the world: from the checks that were offered during my antenatal appointments to the postnatal support I received for infant feeding, plus how safe I felt when sharing that I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I experienced the difference a midwife makes who listens, educates, and facilitates informed choice during such a short, yet transformational period in someone’s life.”


Chioma Eucharia Nnajidema

Chioma Eucharia Nnajidema: shortlisted for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability

Chioma Eucharia Nnajidema came to study Nursing in Worcester from Nigeria and Gabon, where she was working in a hospital.

“I wanted to become a nurse because I have always been fascinated by the anatomy of the human body and I wanted a career that transcends humanity which is what nursing does,” she said.

Having volunteered with several non-profit organisations in Africa to champion ideas around sustainability, when Chioma started her studies at Worcester, she wanted to learn more about how to apply those ideas in healthcare settings.

“Sustainability is important to me because as an aspiring nurse, I am aware that every field of industry across the world contributes to the global ecological footprint which directly impacts global health,” she said. “To reduce the rate of global health crisis, it is in the best interest of nurses like myself to raise awareness and take conscious steps in the dispensation of our daily professional responsibilities to curb the worsening global health crisis.”

Chioma, who is in the final year of her studies at Worcester, took part in an audit of a GP practice’s sustainability documentation and was awarded a badge by Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) in recognition of her work.

“I hope to keep learning more about the subject throughout my career,” she added.

Chioma said she was grateful to have made it onto the shortlist of the Student Nursing Times Awards in recognition of her work to promote sustainability in healthcare. “It is an invaluable opportunity with great prospects for the finalists,” she said. “I want to thank everyone who made this possible.”


Almy Anna John

Almy Anna John: shortlisted for Student Nurse of the Year: Clinical Research

Almy Anna John moved to the University of Worcester three years ago from India to begin her nursing studies.

“I was really interested in research, and I knew that in the UK there were more opportunities for research within nursing,” she said. “During my time at Worcester I have been able to get involved in lots of opportunities, including a two-year research internship where my topic was all about dermatology.”

“I believe research is such an important part of nursing,” she added. “You need research nurses to help widen our knowledge of the profession and keep improving the way we do things.”

Almy said she had never been out of India prior to starting her studies at Worcester. “It was a really big thing for me to come to the UK to study,” she remembers. “There was a lot to take in, from the language to the food and the weather, as well as getting used to a different way of studying. But I have really enjoyed it and I am really proud to have completed the course and now be graduating.”

Almy has secured a job at Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London as an ICU nurse. “They have a really big research department there so I’m hoping to be able to follow my passions there in the future.”


Nicole Barr and Julie Bayliss

Julie Bayliss and Nicole Barr: both shortlisted for Nursing Associate Learner of the Year

Julie Bayliss and Nicole Barr are both employed by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust and have been completing their Nursing Associate studies at the University of Worcester.

Julie, who works with patients with mental health difficulties, said: “I started working for the NHS four years ago as a Health Care Assistant on a mental health ward. I instantly fell in love with it and decided I wanted to progress to become a mental health nurse. The Nursing Associate programme has been a fantastic step for me in that dream and to be shortlisted in these awards is really very humbling.”

After a degree in Languages and years working in the corporate sector, Nicole Barr, decided she wanted to work in the health sector.

“After I had my two boys, I decided I wanted to do something to help other people,” she said. “The Nursing Associate programme has been really great for me, and I absolutely love my job.”

Nicole works in the mental health team for the Trust and said being shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Award had come as a surprise.

“I am really proud, but I look at all my fellow students and think they are all so deserving too,” she said.