Nursing stars of the future recognised

Liz Read with her Rising Star award from Nursing Times

Two of our outstanding mental health nurses have been recognised as Rising Stars by Nursing Times.

Liz Read, a student nurse at the Bracton Centre in Bexley and Stephen Jones, a staff nurse at the Woodlands Unit in Sidcup, were among 25 stars of the future who received their awards at a ceremony in London on 30 June.

The Rising Stars Awards acknowledges expertise and enthusiasm of student and newly-qualified nurses at the outset of their careers. Winners were judged on the impact they have had on the profession, how far they have challenged convention, their commitment to career progression and their leadership skills.

Stephen Jones with his Rising Stars award from Nursing Times

Going above and beyond

Liz, 26, started training to become a mental health nurse in 2012 and is on her final placement. In addition to studying she has been a Care Maker for two years, been invited to Downing Street for a discussion with an advisor to the Prime Minister, spoken at national conferences and facilitated workshops.

The judges said: “Liz is going above and beyond her student role. She inspires and motivates, and has the rare ability to give honest feedback that doesn’t sound like criticism but an incentive.”

Liz said: “I am honoured to receive this award and excited to start working and put my knowledge into action.”

Stephen, 24, started training to become a mental health nurse in 2011 and qualified as a staff nurse in 2014. He was invited to join the Compassion and Patient Safety Programme Board while still a student after impressing leading figures from Health Education England with his knowledge and enthusiasm. His ideas for a mental health champions scheme led to him becoming a core member of a Department of Health national working party on improving care of people with mental health problems in mainstream services.

The judges said: “Stephen’s decision to take a PhD so soon after qualifying demonstrates his commitment to improving mental health nursing practice.”

Stephen said: “It was a great surprise that I had been nominated and it was inspiring to see all the innovation among current and future nurses.

Great champions and role models

Jane Wells, Director of Nursing, said: “I am very proud that Liz and Stephen have been recognised as talented and inspiring rising stars. Both are great champions and role models and their leadership, drive and commitment for excellence in patient care is immense.”

The finalists were decided upon by a 10-strong panel of judges including chief nursing officer for England, Jane Cummings and Public Health England chief, Viv Bennett

Published on 3rd July 2015