Hallam student named mental health nurse of the year

30th October 2020

A ‘remarkable’ Sheffield Hallam University student who made a ‘significant positive impact’ on her course and department has been named Student Nurse of the Year (Mental Health).

Clare Manly, who graduated this year after completing her degree in mental health nursing, received the accolade as part of the 2020 Student Nursing Times Awards which were held online on Tuesday evening (27 October).

Clare, who is now working as a community nurse, is continuing her studies at Sheffield Hallam having recently started a Master’s in perinatal mental health.

During her time at the University, Clare has taken part in numerous initiatives and campaigns to support other student nurses both in the University and on a national level – sitting on the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Students’ Committee.

She continues to work with the RCN supporting nurses new to the profession through their Newly Qualified Network.

Clare also managed the 'Student Nurse Project’ Twitter account alongside a student in Southampton for student nurses and newly qualified nurses as a source of informal support and advice. The account continues to provide a positive source of guidance, support, ideas and motivation to a large online community.

She set up and co-hosts a podcast called Retaining the Passion, where guests connected to nursing are interviewed and their views discussed to help people remain positive about the nursing profession. 

On receiving her award Clare said: “It is so overwhelming; I didn’t expect it at all. When you look at what nurses have done during the pandemic, I think they are all incredible.

“It’s been a 25-year journey for me to become a nurse. I haven’t done this on my own and I’m so lucky to have had the support of my family and the staff at Hallam.

“It’s been tough starting a new career in the pandemic, but I love what I do. It’s been such a strange year, but I will always remember 2020.”

Outside of nursing, Clare serves as a Guide Leader in her local community and is currently running an empowering women project which aims to inspire young women locally, nationally and internationally to know they can make an impact. 

John Freeman, Principal Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at Sheffield Hallam, said: “Clare has been a genuinely remarkable student and is an exceptionally well-deserving winner of this award. Very few students have made such a significant positive and enduring impact on their course or the department.

“Clare always did this with a smile on her face and a wonderfully positive and engaging personality. We are delighted that she’s chosen to study with again as a postgraduate student.”

Editor of Nursing Times, Steve Ford, said: “The Student Nursing Times Awards bring together the nursing community to shine a light on the brightest talent making their way into the profession. Highlighting excellence in education across all specialties of nursing, the awards also provide the opportunity to congratulate the lecturers, practice supervisors, universities, trusts and private organisations going above and beyond to support student nurses on their journey.

“This year has, of course, been very different for everyone. The health and social care sector has been at the forefront of meeting the challenge posed by Covid-19, with many students signing up to help on the front line or having to adapt their learning in other ways. It feels, therefore, doubly important this year to recognise the achievements of student nurses and their educators with these awards.”

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