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Student nurse wins prestigious national award for outstanding achievement

Posted on the 22nd June 2016

A student nurse with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has won a prestigious national award for her outstanding achievement as a District Nursing Student.

Gemma Vignali, who is a Community Specialist Practitioner student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), has been awarded the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s Philip Goodeve-Docker Memorial Prize. The prize is offered to the top performing student of District Nursing programmes in every university in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Gemma, a mother of two who lives in Darwen, fought off stiff competition to receive the award and was nominated by UCLAN’s School of Nursing. Gemma commenced the course in September 2015 and was earmarked for consistently demonstrating commitment to the profession, achieving high standards of clinical care and working hard academically.

During the current academic year, Gemma was admitted to hospital for a routine procedure, became suddenly unwell under anaesthetic, had a cardiac arrest and was subsequently resuscitated. She then remained in intensive care until her discharge. Despite all of this, Gemma returned to university to complete her course and was able to recover and return to work.

Gemma said: “I am delighted and surprised when I came to learn that I had won this award. I’m deeply honoured that my tutors had put me forward. To receive this award is a real honour and I grateful to my tutors at UCLAN for nominating me. I can also honestly say I really do work with some brilliant people throughout the Trust.”

Deborah Howe, Business Manager for Adult Community Services at Lancashire Care, said: “In spite of spending time in hospital, Gemma has shown true grit and dedication. It’s a fabulous achievement for Gemma and for the Trust. This indeed is a real success and Gemma has clearly been recognised for her resilience and sheer determination alongside her academic prowess. We are proud to have her on our team and welcome her into the role of District Nursing Sister in our Award Winning Community Nursing Team.”

Georgina Ritchie, Pathway Leader for District Nursing at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “Gemma’s continued enthusiasm and commitment to District Nursing has been inspirational to her fellow students, clinical peers and the teaching team at UCLAN. We believe that Gemma deserves this award for her strength, resilience and determination to not only carry on but grow from this experience. We believe she truly is a role model for District Nursing.”

The award is open to universities in England, Wales and Ireland who are invited to nominate a District Nurse student who has demonstrated the most outstanding achievement on their programme. A prize of £50 and a certificate from the Queen’s Nursing Institute are presented to the successful student, alongside their academic award at the university graduation ceremony.