His role as chairperson of a student society and willingness to engage in class have led to Jon Bousie being shortlisted for a Student Nursing Times Award (SNTA).
The final-year Mental Health Nursing student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is "really happy" to have been recognised in the annual awards, which celebrate the cream of the crop among the student nursing community.
He is also looking forward to discussing his views on the profession with the SNTA team.
Jon said: "My lecturer recommended I put myself forward, as I took over as chairperson of the De Montfort Students' Union Contemporary Health Society. The aim was to have an academic focus where were could discuss health policy and other relevant topics.
"I think the other reasons are that I'm vocal in class and like a debate. I have to solve a situation or progress towards a solution.
"I am really happy to be shortlisted for Student Nurse of the Year: Mental Health, as it was quite stressful applying and I wasn't sure if I'd get through."
The 26-year-old will now get a chance to share his views on care for people with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with the awards judging panel later this month.
Jon, who has ADHD, said: "I will tell them about my end goal to make a community service for adults with developmental disorders.
"Through placements I have seen a lot of people with autism, but they exist in acute care and don't have the skills to function in society. I think we need more services teaching social skills."
To help him achieve his ambition, Jon will continue to concentrate on his studies before taking up a role as a staff nurse at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Camhs) in Northampton on qualification in September.
"I'm very excited to start. It was really helpful to get an interview let alone the job and I like a challenge," he said.
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Born in Wales, Jon gained an understanding of mental health issues at a young age.
"My dad was quite unwell with schizophrenia," he said. "I understood it was an illness and could rationalise it. But it was traumatic for me and did have an effect."
Interested in biology and science, he opted to study a Human Genetics MSci at the University of Nottingham. However, problems with his final-year research project year meant he didn't graduate as well as hoped and, during a year out looking for jobs, a friend convinced him to look into Mental Health Nursing at DMU.
Three years on and Jon is now a School Representative Co-ordinator, who thinks the best thing about the course is the approachability of lecturers who "care about the job".
"You're free to talk to them and they take criticism, listen to you and engage in discussion," said Jon, who has also enjoyed learning new skills on placements.
"I don't find anything hard except organisation. It's tricky balancing assignments while on placement."
Jon will find out if he has won the at the SNTA ceremony in April. Joining him will be fellow DMU student Katie Dutton, shortlisted in the Inspirational Student category, and DMU graduate Katie Siddall, who is up for the Learning Disability Nursing award.
Posted on Tuesday 13th March 2018