Health News | Newly Qualified Nurses Honoured | Andover & VillagesNEWLY-QUALIFIED nurses and midwives who carried out their training at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust got the chance to celebrate their achievements at a special ceremony.

A total of 28 nurses and midwives marked their graduation from students to qualified staff at the Trust’s annual badge ceremony, which was held at The Ark, Basingstoke.

Every year, Hampshire Hospitals presents graduates from the University of Surrey, University of Southampton, Bournemouth University and The Open University, as well as nurses returning to practice, with a Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust badge that they will wear on their uniform for the rest of their career to show where they trained.

Donna Green, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, hosted the event.

She said: “I’m a very proud chief nurse. We did not want to miss this moment, as your training hospital, to congratulate you on your achievement of becoming registered nurses and midwives. Well done!”

As well as their families, friends and colleagues, the graduates were also joined by The Worshipful The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Councillor Paul Frankum and the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor David McLean, as well as members of the board and Hampshire Hospitals governors.

A number of special awards were announced on the night, with The Taverner Award for the exceptional student nurse of the year going to Paul Bradley, who is showing that it’s never too late to follow your nursing dreams.

Paul, who is 51, has worked as a hairdresser and also ran his own business in the USA before realising that nursing was his true passion.

“Life’s too short not to fulfil your passion for what you want to do,” he said. “I always wanted to do something to make a difference and I really wanted to work with people.

“I really enjoy interacting with the patients. That’s what made me want to be a nurse in the first place. It’s great to be able to make them smile and feel good.”

Paul, who carried out all of his placements within Hampshire Hospitals, has already secured a job at the Trust. He is now working on C2 at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, which specialises in the treatment of patients with pseudomyxoma peritonei, a rare form of cancer for which the hospital is a national specialist centre.

“I felt really well supported during all of my placements at the Trust and I’m looking forward to getting my career as a nurse started,” Paul added. “There will be an abundance of clinical skills to acquire working on C2 and I’m looking forward to educating myself more and evolving my career.”

Paul is particularly passionate about nursing patients with cancer. He completed his final placement on Wessex Ward, Basingstoke hospital’s specialist oncology ward – and it was there that his potential to be an excellent nurse really shone through.

Rebecca James, clinical matron on Wessex Ward, nominated Paul for the Taverner Award. Speaking during the ceremony, she said: “Paul has come to nursing with such passion, determination and grit. It was an absolute pleasure having him on the ward and we have all noticed that we are missing a member of the team since his placement finished.”

Paul added: “I never expected to win The Taverner Award, but I’m really pleased. Rebecca was fantastic to work with during my placement and it was really nice to hear her speak like that about me.

“Having had personal experience, seeing friends go through cancer, that is where I would like to work in the future.”

Other award winners were Charissa Batty, who claimed the Student Midwife of the Year award, Mary Grace Liaz, who was named Nurse Mentor of the Year, and Nicola Howell, who won the Midwife Mentor of the Year prize.

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