A seconded nurse had cause for a double celebration as not only did she graduate, she also won an award for her outstanding academic achievement.
Makayla Brown, 47, from Barrow-in-Furness completed a BSc Hons mental health nursing degree at the University of Cumbria after transferring from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Having worked as support staff in a hospital setting for a number of years, Makayla took the brave decision to become a registered nurse.
The risk paid off as not only did she gain a first class honours degree, she was awarded the Gordon Neill Prize for gaining the highest grades of her cohort.
Talking about the prize, Makayla said: “I feel honoured to have been nominated for the Gordon Neill award. Achieving a first class honours degree in a field I have worked in for several years as a support worker was beyond my expectation.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the mental health nursing programme. I have experienced excellent guest speakers offering the ‘nitty gritty’ reality from both patient and professional perspectives, alongside passionate lecturers who aim to shape the future nursing profession.”
Senior lecturer in mental health nursing at UoC, Louise Corless, nominated Makayla for quietly excelling while balancing a busy home and student life.
“Makayla is an excellent example of a student who has quietly, confidently and capably engaged with the mental health nursing.
“She has consistently demonstrated exceptional scholarship which has led to her being awarded the prize,” she said.
“It is not always about the students who have completed projects, obviously that is fantastic and we want to celebrate that, but it should be recognised that we have a number of students who perform at a very high level and just get on with it!
“Makayla was completely overwhelmed to have received the award and I think it is testament to her humility. Sometimes people don’t realise how special and how great they are. Makayla is both these and so I am really proud and pleased she has been acknowledged.”
Makayla is now working at the Dova Unit at Furness General Hospital in her dream job working with acute mental health patients.