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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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BSMHFT nurse wins Student Nursing Times Award 2015

Published: 07/04/2015

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) celebrated success at the Student Nursing Times Awards for the second time in three years after one of  its  team won Student Nurse of the Year in Mental Health.

Laura Fitzgerald, who recently successfully secured  a permanent position with the Trust’s prison healthcare service, was recognised for her work in mental health.

She received her award at a lunch at London Hilton, Park Lane, on 7 May, where she joined 820 talented student nurses, education providers and mentors, including the 158 finalists on the shortlist and 18 deserving winners.
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Rebecca Kidman (left) and Laura Fitzgerald
Laura said: “I was shocked to hear I had won the award, and it was a lovely way to start a new job. It won’t change anything in my day to day work though. I worked a long day before the ceremony, and a long day the day after!”

“I started to develop an interest in mental health when working as a prison substance misuse worker, and so decided to train as mental health nurse to further my knowledge and skills in the area. Working at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has given me the opportunity to gain experience in a wide variety of services, from dual diagnosis to forensic community services.

“In the first month of my new job I have learnt so much already.”

BSMHFT works in partnership with Birmingham City University (BCU) to provide placements for student nurses as part of  the university’s course requirements. Students undertake placements at our Trust during each year of their course to gain practical experience in a variety of mental health settings.

The prestigious Student Nursing Times Awards celebrate the achievements of student nurses and educational establishments that are guiding and shaping the future of nursing.

Rebecca Kidman, a student at BCU, was also shortlisted in the Student Nurse of the Year, mental health category.

Sue Hartley, Executive Director of Nursing, said: “I am delighted that Laura has won this award, and very glad that she has chosen to work for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust. Rebecca being shortlisted is also a great achievement. We should do all we can to support the excellent work of students on their placements to help them on their way to becoming compassionate and caring nurses in the future.”

Both Laura and Rebecca thanked their BCU mental health lecturer and their Trust mentors for their help and support.