Student Nurse of the Year: Learning Disabilities

Katie Bright
Bangor University

Katie will graduate as a learning disability nurse in December 2023 with a first-class honors degree. Throughout the 3 years Katie has gone above and beyond to engage with the theoretical and practical elements of the course. This is reflected in an excellent average grade awarded every year. Of course, such academic success alone is exemplary. However, alongside academic ability fuelled by curiosity, it is the softer skills of kindness and compassion that Katie gives unconditionally to her peers and individuals with learning disability, is what shines through and deserves recognition.

Amy Crowle
University of Cumbria

Amy has actively been involved in the promotion of Learning Disability Nursing by participating in a variety of forums to educate workforce, services, and other healthcare professionals. Her interpersonal skills, values and positive approach means that she can develop and deliver person centred care with a human rights approach. As a student she is engaging, inquisitive, and able to challenge biases and negative attitudes by encouraging critical thinking, suggesting alternative viewpoints, and highlighting the potential impact of biases on people with a learning disability. Amy is a confident and passionate advocate people with a learning disability and the profession.

Patrina Loughran
Queen’s University Belfast

Patrina's journey is a testament to her multifaceted contributions to professional nursing at QUB. As a role model, Patrina’s impact goes beyond awards and accolades; it's woven into the very fabric of the academic community. Patrina has instilled positive values within the student body, encouraging a proactive approach to problem solving, moving beyond transactional engagement with staff, to systems focused on constructive relationships. Despite her multitude of successes Patrina remains both authentic and humble. When asked where she gets the motivation and energy to perform so successfully, she replied simply “because I enjoy it”.

Kerry Murray
Coventry University

A final year Learning Disability Student Nurse aiming to improve health inequalities for individuals with learning disabilities. I think its important to advocate for these individuals and promote equality/inclusion in primary and secondary healthcare.

Gail Rathbone
University of Chester

Gail is an outstanding learning disability student nurse, who has lead on a health promotion and awareness quality improvement initiative, co producing LD awareness cards for student nurses and primary care, Gail has hosted LD awareness sessions within the University to promote her initiative, while actively demonstrating her passion for field of nursing by demonstrating her leadership skills by promoting and enabling social inclusion to reduce health inequalities for her field of nursing. Gail has acted as a role model for future student nurses, demonstrated her team working skills, leadership skills and the ability to work autonomously.

Claire Thompson
Queen’s University Belfast

Claire has created 'Makaton Monday's' across a range of social media platforms and has attracted the attention of health and social care providers, parents, members of the general public and celebrities alike. This has led to the development of a range of Makaton resources and other resources aimed at health care professionals, student nurses and service users to improve access to healthcare and reduce inequalities in health for people with learning disabilities. This has created opportunities for Claire to raise the profile of learning disabilities and the need for improved communication for this often ignored population of service users.