Nursing student graduates with additional distinction

Posted on 16th November 2017

A University of Chester Nursing student has been recognised as one of the highest achieving nurses in the country during her graduation.

•	L-R: Jean Evers, Head of the Department of Public Health and Wellbeing; Karen Whitehurst, Practice Educator at East Cheshire Community Trust; Jodie Carr; Professor Annette McIntosh-Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor/Provost, and Conleth Kelly, Senior Lecturer in District Nursing.
• L-R: Jean Evers, Head of the Department of Public Health and Wellbeing; Karen Whitehurst, Practice Educator at East Cheshire Community Trust; Jodie Carr; Professor Annette McIntosh-Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor/Provost, and Conleth Kelly, Senior Lecturer in District Nursing.

Jodie Carr, aged 26, who grew up in Poynton but now lives in Chapel En Le Frith, has received The Philip Goodeve-Docker Memorial Prize, a Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) Award at her graduation ceremony earlier this month, in recognition of her hard work and innovation in practice.

Jodie qualified as a Registered Adult Nurse in 2013 and, for the past three years, she has worked in the community in East Cheshire. She recently completed a Specialist Practitioner Qualification (SPQ) in District Nursing at the University of Chester and oversees the care of patients as a District Nursing Sister.

Jodie said: “I am overjoyed yet humbled to have been put forward for this prize as it was not something I had ever expected I would be in receipt of. The award is nominated to one of the highest achieving nurses on Specialist Practitioner Programmes across the country.”

She added: “In order to progress in District Nursing, you must hold Specialist Practitioner status. The role of the District Nurse is pivotal. The course developed on my skills in dealing with complex case management and enhanced my leadership skills. Alongside my studies, I worked within a dynamic District Nursing team, where I was able to develop and utilise my specialist skills under the supervision and guidance from my Practice Teacher, Karen Whitehurst.”

While studying the SPQ, Jodie developed an initiative, for which she began while studying her Mentorship qualification in 2016. The initiative was the creation of an assessment and prompt tool to manage the blood sugars of diabetic patients, entitled the ‘Diabetic Pocket Guide’.

Jodie said: “Its purpose was to teach student nurses the basic, but essential knowledge and skills, of caring for patients with Diabetes, and recognising signs which require intervention and appropriate management. At my interview for the SPQ, I presented my initiative to the interviewers who were interested in the work I had done about Diabetes.

“I was encouraged by Karen to develop the guide further as part of my Public Health module. As a result of this, I audited the Pocket Guide in clinical practice and found that, not only was it useful to students, but also to qualified staff and health care assistants. My work has now been presented to the Lead Nurse and senior managers within the East Cheshire NHS Trust and is currently going through approvals so that the Diabetic Pocket Guide can be taken forward to be used within clinical practice, to improve service provision on a trust-wide basis.”

Karen Whitehurst, Jodie’s Practice Teacher, said: “I am so proud of Jodie's achievements throughout the SPQ, especially her proactive management towards patient care, including the public health initiative in developing the 'Diabetic Pocket Guide', which will be imbedded into practice to improve patient outcomes. The SPQ has been instrumental in allowing Jodie time to develop new initiatives within practice. Jodie is a role model who continues to drive change forward, not only for patient care but also for the development of colleagues and students in practice.”

Conleth Kelly, Senior Lecturer in District Nursing, said: “I could see from the interview for the programme the determination that Jodie had towards developing herself. This led to her helping to develop others around her, which resulted in all round better patient care. She showed that she had awareness that knowledge is power, and by sharing this knowledge, it creates empowerment of the team, the patient and the family.”