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National recognition for clinical educator Alex

A member of the clinical education team at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT), Alex Levitt-Powell, has won the Learner of the Year: post-registration category at the 2022 Student Nursing Times Awards.

The winners of the annual awards were revealed in front of the nursing community last month at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Celebrating its 11th year, the Student Nursing Times Awards brought together nearly 500 talented student nurses, education providers, and mentors.

A second WSFT colleague, James Metcalf, was shortlisted in the awards as Practice Supervisor of the Year.

Alex said: “I am immensely proud to have received this award and that my passion and practice as an educator has been recognised. I am so proud of this achievement, not only personally but also for the achievements of the integrated clinical education team and feel that this award recognises the work we do collectively. There were trusts represented from all four corners of the UK and to be recognised puts our work at West Suffolk on the map. I thoroughly believe that you must never underestimate your achievements and this award is evidence of this!”

Alex said he began working at the Trust as a community nurse, and in that role developed a passion for supporting students and staff, changed career paths and joined the clinical education team in 2019. He has recently taken up a new post leading pre-professional education and hopes to establish more development pathways for this group of staff.

Alex said: “I want to thank Diane Last, head of clinical education, and Helen Vickery, lead clinical practice facilitator, for their unwavering support during my studies, the education team and the colleagues across the Trust that I have the pleasure of working alongside.”

Executive chief nurse Susan Wilkinson said: “I am so delighted to congratulate Alex on his success in winning this prestigious award, which is a tribute both to his hard work and commitment and the support of the education and training team at WSFT. James also did extremely well to be shortlisted, and we can all be very proud of both these colleagues.

“Bringing out the very best in all our people is a priority for the Trust, we strive to ‘grow our own’ and ensure everyone has the opportunity to achieve what they want in their career with us. It helps us to provide compassionate, quality care to our patients, as well as developing and maintaining our valuable staff.”

Editor of Nursing Times, Steve Ford, said: “Our awards celebrate students from all over the UK and at different stages of the nursing education journey, from first years to those who have recently qualified. Their innovation and achievements so early in their career already mark them out as sources of inspiration and rising stars for the future.”

The citation from the judges said of Alex: “The contender has developed their professional curiosity leading to improvements in clinical education and patient care. They are an inspiration and a role model to others considering post-registration learning.”

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Alex Levitt-Powell

Alex Levitt-Powell