USW success at Nurse of the Year awards

Matthew and Jacqueline RCN Nurse of the Year Awards

A member of staff at the University of South Wales (USW) was among the winners at the annual RCN Wales Nurse of the Year Awards on Wednesday 10 November.

The virtual ceremony, organised by the Royal College of Nursing Wales, celebrated the work of nurses from across the country in several different categories.

Matthew Thornton, Head of Practice-based Learning and Simulation at USW, won the Supporting Education and Learning in Practice Award, alongside Jacqueline Morgan, Senior Nurse at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB.

The pair collected the award for their work leading on the introduction of a new model of education and learning in practice, which uses a collaborative learning approach (CLiP) to shift learning away from traditional mentorship, and towards coaching. It is the first initiative of its kind in Wales.

The programme allows student nurses to develop greater confidence and competence through an evidence-based approach that is safely governed and fully evaluated. It means that students can be more proactive in caring for patients and supports high quality learning while investing in existing and aspiring supervisors. Under the initiative, third year students are required to coach first year students under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Dr Linda Evans, Dean of USW’s Faculty of Life Sciences and Education said: 

“Congratulations to Matthew and Jacqueline. They implemented this programme at a time of extreme pressure within the NHS, with great sensitivity, commitment, and professionalism.

“Its success can be directly attributed to their exceptional joint leadership.”

The win was not USW’s only success of the evening. Adult Nursing student, Josanne Cullen, won runner-up in the Nursing Student Award. The award was for her time spent in a resource bank role in the intensive care unit of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, as well as her work at one of ABUHB’s mass vaccination centres.

The RCN Nurse Awards aim to recognise nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers who demonstrate innovation and excellence in practice and showcase their achievements to the nursing family in Wales. This year was the ninth time the event had taken place, with last year’s ceremony being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.