Nottingham student wins 'Oscar' for Learning Disability nursing

27 Apr 2018 17:19:24.880

A University of Nottingham student who was inspired to train to be a nurse after working with children with learning disabilities at a nursery has won a major national award from the Nursing Times. 

Anna Johnson, a third year BSc Nursing for Learning Disabilities student, won the Student Nurse of the Year 2018 in the Learning Disabilities category at a ceremony in London. 

Anna, who is 23 and from Derby, was one of eleven students from the University’s School of Health Sciences, nominated as finalists at the Student Nursing Times Awards which recognises excellence in nurse training. 

Click here for full story

Anna said: “My inspiration for a career with people with learning disabilities came from when I first started working at a mainstream nursery. A young boy started in the pre-school room where I was working. Staff gradually suspected that he had autism. I worked with a wide range of health professionals and a diagnosis was made within six months. Working with this young boy gave me a feeling of great achievement because I could support him to learn skills that would enable him to live a fulfilling life and achieve his potential.”

Anna’s winning submission to the Student Nursing Times awards was based on a survey she had conducted which highlighted the limited knowledge that student nurses from other fields have about learning disabilities. The data from the survey made clear the important role that learning disability student nurses and qualified nurses have in educating others about people with learning disabilities and what can be done to support them. A resulting website and Twitter account now promotes learning disability nursing as well as providing education about learning disabilities.  

Anna said: “I want to thank everyone at the University of Nottingham’s School of Health Sciences, including Dr John McCluskey and Dr David Charnock for pushing me to enter for this award. Winning it has given me a huge boost in confidence to educate others and to aim high. This new-found confidence will give me motivation to apply for future jobs. I will continue to strive to educate others in how to effectively provide outstanding care to those individuals with learning disabilities.” 

Professor Joanne Lymn, Head of the School Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham said: “I am so proud of all the students from the School who were finalists at the awards and especially thrilled that Anna Johnson won Student Nurse of the Year: Learning Disabilities. This is the fourth year running that students from Nottingham have won that particular award and is obviously a true testament to the quality of our students and to the staff who support them to achieve at this high level.”

The Student Nursing Times Awards judging panel commented: “Anna is a true rising star, a future leader, compassionate and professional – everything we look for in a learning disability nurse.”


— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…



Story credits

More information is available from Ms Kay Akhter, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham via email 

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798