Beth Dennis named Most Inspirational Student Nurse | News

Beth Dennis named Most Inspirational Student Nurse

Beth Dennis, Student Nurse at our Children’s Hospital, has been awarded two coveted Student Nursing TimesAwards at the ceremony in London on Thursday 25 April.

  beth dennis with awardBeth was awarded Children's Student Nurse of the Year and Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year.

Beth said: "It really hasn't sunk in yet. I always wanted to be remembered as the person who tried. We might not always succeed but it is always worth trying to make a positive impact.

"This award made me realise not only have I been the person who tried really hard but I have made it. I really hope this is just the start and this process has helped me come up with so many more ideas."

Beth was nominated for four Student Nursing Times Awards for her outstanding contributions to students and her innovative work championing youth voice at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Beth said: "My brother was an inpatient at the Children's Hospital when I was a teenager. That is when I started to get involved in YPAG, the hospital’s Young Person’s Advisory Group."

 Beth has been an integral part of YPAG, the hospital youth volunteer group, for over four years. She has helped organise youth-led training and events for staff, and championed impactful projects, such as creating improved bed signage for patients and installing new artwork in our Cancer Wards.

most inspirational student nurse beth dennisBeth said: "I was just blown away at how much young people had an impact in decision making across the hospital. We were even made part of the interview panels for senior members of staff - our voice really mattered."

From then on, Beth knew that she wanted to work at our Children's Hospital, so started her training at Birmingham City University.

Beth explained: "My first ever placement was on Ward Five at the Children’s Hospital, where my brother was a patient. I had come full circle and it felt really meant to be."

Beth also carried out a placement at our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.

  Beth said: "PICU was where I found my passion. I absolutely loved it. There is so many specialisms and it is challenging, but I love learning and really enjoyed being involved in such varied work. You get to help people on the worst day of their lives, and that is so rewarding."

This is when Beth, being passionate about quality improvement and learning, began her first project.

 beth with flash cards Beth said: "When you're a student nurse, all the information you need to learn can be quite overwhelming and I felt that I wasn't equipped with everything I needed to know."

Beth started a project to create educational flashcards for student nurses so important information was always on hand.

Beth worked with our education team as well as many individuals and clinicians across the Trust to contribute to creating the cards. She also reached out to young people and patients.

Beth explained: "I'm so passionate about young voices being heard so it was vital to me that they contributed to this project and told me what they felt should be on these resources."

After a year in the making, Beth completed the flashcards and received a Charity Grant of £4500 to create free flashcards for next cohort of student nurses.

Beth said: "It was really important to me that this was a free resource with the cost-of-living crisis. I'm so thankful that the Charity believed in me and this idea and awarded me this grant."

Beth's passion for improving student nurses' experiences didn't stop there.

Beth said: "I know how overwhelming it is starting work in a new hospital. I felt very out of my depth and alone in my struggles and I didn't want anyone else to feel that way."

With Birmingham City University, Beth created pre-placement workshops for students about to go on placement, so they could ask any questions they wanted in a safe space before starting work.

Beth said: "I wanted students to be able to ask those questions that feel silly. It makes a huge difference being able to hear the real experiences of other student nurses and knowing they felt just as nervous as you do. It makes starting that first placement so much easier."

Beth was nominated for four awards by Birmingham City University for her passion and dedication to students and children's nursing.

Beth said: "I feel really honoured. I just love being a nurse and love working here at the Children's Hospital, so this means a lot."

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