Badge of honour for students as they qualify for a career in nursing
Over 200 nursing students marked the end of their studies at the University of Wolverhampton recently at three annual badging ceremonies.
The events took place at St Peter’s Church in Wolverhampton and at the Marches Centre for Excellence in Health and Social Care at the University’s Telford Campus.
Funded by The Joan Argyle Shambaugh Bursary, students studying for Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in adult nursing, children’s nursing, mental health nursing and learning disability nursing were each presented with a badge to mark the end of their studies.
Badges are traditionally given out to represent the institute where the nurses have trained.
Dr Abbie Fordham Barnes, Head of the School of Nursing at the University, said: “I’m so proud of these students. They have contributed so much towards the nursing workforce and the wider nursing community. These students have been impacted by the pandemic and I think they’ve shown an absolute commitment towards nursing and the nurse educators have made such a valuable contribution and been committed and shown passion to help the nurses progress.”
Amelia Sond, from Wolverhampton, studying for a Mental Health Nursing degree and now working for the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I wanted to study nursing because I come from a Global Majority background and I feel there’s not much help in the community and there’s still some stigma around mental health so I wanted to become the change I want to see.
“I’ve had an amazing experience at the University. I started my learning journey during the pandemic and came back into education after a while, but the support has been incredible and the placements were really valuable. It feels a bit surreal now to be collecting this award after all of our efforts.”
Ciara Harding, originally from Essex, studied for an Adult Nursing degree and is now working as a Staff Nurse on a cardiothoracic ward at New Cross Hospital. As one of the organisers of the Nursing Badge Ceremony, she said: “Nursing is in my background, a lot of family members are in mental health nursing but I’m the first nurse to be graduating as an Adult Nurse in my entire family.
“I can’t fault the University’s teaching, I’ve been nominated and been a finalist for awards, and I want to come back as a Visiting Lecture. It is a challenging course and you need to be dedicated. We caught the tail end of the pandemic which was quite a difficult learning journey so to be celebrating at the end with this Badge Ceremony feels amazing.”
Debora Bokete studied for a Master’s degree in Adult Nursing and has secured a job at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. She said: “It’s a dream I thought I would never realise and I feel so proud of myself. I just want to make a difference to people’s lives and have a positive impact on people.”
Tracy Lapworth, Programme leader Master of Adult Nursing, said: “This cohort started in the middle of the pandemic, and they’ve had a real battle but, wearing the armour of PPE, they’ve become the champions of person-centred care and have become brave, amazing and compassionate nurses.”
Picture caption (top) outside St Peter’s Church from left to right: Deborah Bokete, Shannon Fidoe and Ify Nwiwu
Picture caption on the stairs from left to right: Amelia Sond, Ciara Harding, Timothy Clarke, Ann Marsten and Shahnaz Akhter.
Picture caption with balloons: Nurses at the Telford Marches Centre for Excellence in Health and Social Care celebrate at their first badging ceremony in the area.
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