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Outstanding achievement award for Suffolk nurse

The day nurse Francineide Hubbard attended her graduation ceremony at the University of Suffolk became even more special when she discovered she had been given an award.

Fran, a nurse on the endoscopy ward at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, completed her adult nursing degree through an apprenticeship earlier this year.

At her recent graduation ceremony in Ipswich, Fran was also awarded the Dean’s Prize for 2023. The “Outstanding Achievement Award” states: “The prize is awarded to the student who has overcome adversity and proved themselves an outstanding student within their cohort for BSc (Hons) adult nursing degree apprenticeships, despite challenges.”

Fran came to the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust from her native Brazil, speaking very little English, to work as a housekeeper, and was soon inspired to take a job where she could provide direct patient care.

She worked as a nursing assistant, studying all the time to complete her intermediate apprenticeship level 2, advanced apprenticeship level 3 and a foundation degree, before embarking on the two-year nursing apprenticeship degree course.

Fran said: “I am really happy and proud of myself. I’m so pleased to have finished the course and achieved my registration as a nurse. It has been very hard work, but I would happily do it all again. I am also glad to be staying with the endoscopy team, as my colleagues have been amazing and very supportive.”

She added that anyone who has ambitions to become a nurse should follow her example, and not be put off by the challenges: “I think what I have achieved is an incentive for people and I would advise anyone to do this if they love looking after people. It’s hard, and it’s a long journey, but it’s worth it.”

Helen Vickery, deputy clinical education lead, said: “Fran has worked with focus and determination to achieve her goal of becoming a registered nurse. She has always worked with the patient at the heart of her work, always wanting to be the best nurse that she can be for them. This has meant that Fran has become a knowledgeable, competent and confident practitioner and has an exciting career ahead.”

Dawn Parsons, course leader for the adult nursing degree apprenticeship at the University of Suffolk, said: “We are tremendously proud of Fran and all the hard work she has put in. Fran had significant life events throughout her apprenticeship, but despite this adversity she demonstrated resilience and commitment to the course. She is hard-working and compassionate, and we have no doubt she has a tremendous career in nursing ahead of her.”

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