University of Wolverhampton student Rachael Williams was a finalist in the Student Nurse of the Year award category at this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards in London after being nominated by her lecturer, Kasim Bashir Raja.
The 37-year-old is in her third year of studying for a degree in Adult Nursing in the university’s School of Health after completing an Access to Higher Education course.
Rachael said: “I dealt with illness when I was growing up and I was a carer for my parents from a young age which taught me a lot about how to be compassionate, resilient and courageous – qualities which I now know to be valuable in the healthcare sector.
“I knew that nursing was my vocation but I needed further qualifications to apply to study for a nursing degree.
“I chose to study at the University of Wolverhampton and have received great support.
“My nursing career has started late in life and as part of the course, I carried out a literature review for one of the modules which highlighted some critical areas for research and led to a co-authored paper involving myself and my supporting supervisor, Kasim, which was published in The Journal of Clinical Nursing - a magnificent achievement for me.
“I have maintained high grades in my academic work whilst balancing placement, working, writing for publication, my home life and my children and I’m really proud of how much I’ve achieved in such a short space of time.
“Being nominated and shortlisted for these awards was such a proud moment for me.
“My journey has been educational, teaching me new information and skills which has assisted me in becoming an effective nurse.
“This experience has increased my confidence and I’m looking at starting my career in renal nursing – I'm hoping to specialise in this area and hopefully pursue a career as a clinical nurse specialist.”
Kasim said: “Rachael is a hard-working individual and I nominated her because of her dedication to nursing and excellent organisational ability.
“The publication work we have completed so far will lead on to fill more gaps in research but it has also opened doors for Rachael and set an example for other students to follow.
“I want to thank Rachael for her hard work and dedication.
“She is a credit to the nursing workforce, the university and, most importantly, to her family.
“Rachael has been on a very interesting journey as a carer, mother, student and more, and this has made her a stronger individual on a personal and professional level.”
Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of its forthcoming open days at wlv.ac.uk/news-and-events/open-day