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University of Leicester’s Bethan Jones Crowned ‘Student of the Year’

A nursing student at the University of Leicester has been crowned ‘Student of The Year for Clinical Research’ by The Nursing Times.

25-year-old Bethan Jones was given the honour at a glittering award ceremony held at Marriott Grosvenor Hotel in London on Friday (28 April).

Picture: VIP Photography

Following a rigorous judging process with an independent panel of judges, Bethan won in recognition of creating an innovative research placement with her local community trust to help students explore careers in clinical academia.

Speaking afterwards, she said: “I was shocked when I heard my name being read out. I think there was a moment of pure disbelief and then joy and excitement kicked in.”

Not only has Bethan piloted her own research placement at Leicester Partnership Trust (LPT), paving the way for others to follow in her footsteps, but she will present her experiences at the Royal College of Nursing Conference later this year.

Her nomination called her “intelligent, articulate, innovative, enthusiastic, compassionate and hard working.”

It added that the care she provided to patients was always positive and that she supported her peers, submitted strong assignments, and received outstanding feedback from all clinical placement assessors.

Bethan, who also has a Biological Science degree from the University, said: “It’s amazing to receive something like this and to have validation of what I’m doing from further afield. The dual-registration course at Leicester has really given me a wider and well-rounded depth of learning and this holistic approach to patient treatment really makes a difference.”

She was joined by her nursing lecturers, fellow student, parents and fiancé for the award ceremony and added: “It’s a moment I’ll never forget, made even more special by having my family and colleagues around me.”

Speaking about Bethan, the judges said: “Bethan captivated us with her initiative and drive in co-designing the first student nurse research elective placement in her Trust. She demonstrates excellent and confident leadership and is an inspiring advocate for raising the profile of research amongst her fellow students. She has enthusiastically shared her work across a variety of forums and believes in ‘nourishing young people who are interested in research.”

The Nursing Times awards is designed to shine a light on the brightest talent making their way into the profession, highlighting excellence in all specialities of student nursing.

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