Graduates were challenged to be the best that they can be as they celebrated the end of their university years and the start of a new journey in their lives.
Award-winning actor, writer and director Adrian Lester OBE – who was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) today – told graduands “We are relying on you.”
He added: “We are relying on you to see something out there in the world that needs fixing, that needs changing that will be better after you interact with it. We are relying on you to be relentless about pursuing it and changing it. I believe you have the strength to do it.”
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Mr Lester, from Birmingham, began acting at 14 in the local youth theatre and went on to study at RADA. His performances in Shakespeare’s Othello, Henry V, A Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream drew plaudits and praise from critics and audiences alike. On TV, he has perhaps most well-known for his role as Mickey Stone in BBC’s Hustle.
He was presented with his honorary degree by Simon Oldroyd, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor, alongside hundreds of students from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Leicester School of Pharmacy and School of Allied Health Sciences.
Today's graduates included the first-ever cohort of Nursing Associates, who completed a two-year foundation degree delivered at the Leicestershire School of Nursing Associates at Glenfield Hospital, in partnership with DMU.
Nursing Associates are a new role designed to bridge the gap between health care assistants and registered nurses, that also provides a way to progress into graduate level nursing.
The two-year apprenticeship programme, combines both academic and work-based learning in the physical, psychological and public health aspects of care from pre-conception to end of life.
Nursing Associates are based at sites across Leicestershire including the University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL), Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, GP Practices and LOROS.
Donna Bruce, who works at Glenfield Hospital, graduated as a nursing associate watched by her proud husband, two sons and her sisters. She said: “It has been brilliant. A lot of hard work, but I’m so pleased that I did it.”
“It’s been nerve wracking at times,” said Lauren Valentine, fellow Nursing Associate, based at Leicester Children’s Hospital.“It’s totally worth it, though. It will help us help more people and that’s what you go into nursing for.”
There were more celebrations for Rachel Wade and Naomi Dayman who both studied Non-Medical Prescribing. “Ultimately, it means I can do a lot more for my patients, and my patients’ families,” said Naomi. Rachel added: “Juggling work, family and other commitments has been tough but it’s all worth it being here today – I think we have all done so well I am proud of everyone here.”
* Find out more about studying nursing at DMU
* Check out our Facebook page for graduation galleries
* Tributes paid to inspirational DMU lecturer
Angela Acquah graduated as a mental health nurse. She works on Aston Ward at the Bradgate Unit based at Glenfield Hospital. She said: “I think psychologically, spiritually and emotionally the course gives you the inner strength and the confidence to do this job. It makes you think through everything and gets you to be the best nurse you can be.”
Eleanor Meldrum, Deputy Chief Nurse at Leicester’s Hospitals and Project Lead for the Nursing Associate project for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “I’d like to congratulate all of our Nursing Associates on this momentous occasion.
“On this day, a huge thank-you must also go to all of our nursing and education teams from organisations from across Leicestershire who have been involved in this project. They have worked together in the development of the training and have made our unique programme a success. Our nurses have also supported and encouraged the trainees to be the best they can be for the benefit of patients, families and carers.”
Posted on Monday 15th July 2019