Birchover children’s nurse wins national Nursing Times student award

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A trainee nurse from Birchover has won a national student award for service to the profession and her work on sudden infant death syndrome.

Former Lady Manners School student Rachel Dakin, 20, was named children’s nurse of the year at the Nursing Times Student Awards in London on Friday, April 26.

She said: “I’m absolutely elated. There are so many talented nurses across the country, so I feel very honoured.

“I think it reflects the tremendous support and opportunities I’ve had at the University of Nottingham and University Hospitals Trust.”

Rachel is currently in the final year of her degree, and applied for the awards on the suggestion of her tutors.

She said: “The judges wanted someone who could combine care and empathy, with the skill to challenge poor practice, be a role model, and an advocate for the profession.

“I had to write a piece on the projects I’ve developed, and then go through an intense panel interview.”

Rachel clearly impressed the judges by talking about her work to reduce sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rates.

She said: “I worked in a part of Nottingham last year with a high incidence of SIDS. I realised part of the issue was refugees from places where health education was less accessible.

“I got a national charity involved, and we developed resources in different languages and set up education sessions for new parents.”

That is just one success story in Rachel’s career so far, which has already seen her complete training placements in the United States and Chile.

She has also been selected for an advisory role at the Royal College of Nursing, scored top academic marks, served as a student representative at the university, and helped to redevelop its nursing curriculum.

She said: “I’m planing to do a PhD, and ultimately become a professor. I absolutely love what I do, and I’m really interested in the science.

“I hope I can inspire others too, I’m hoping to do a careers talk at Lady Manners. If anyone wants advice, they can contact me via ntyrhd@exmail.nottingham.ac.uk.”