Leeds Teaching Hospitals (LTHT) and Leeds Beckett University (LBU) have clinched a coveted spot on the shortlist for an esteemed award recognising excellence in student nursing education.

The duo has emerged as finalists in the prestigious Partnership of the Year category at the Student Nursing Times Award. Their commendable achievement is attributed to a groundbreaking project aimed at equipping student nurses with a profound understanding of how research and evidence-based practice contribute to enhancing patient outcomes. Esteemed judges have acknowledged shortlisted organisations for their commitment to furnishing a nurturing educational environment, which offers unparalleled support to students throughout their academic journey.

Since forging a collaborative partnership in 2022, LTHT and LBU have embarked on a pioneering initiative tailored for pre-registration learners. This comprehensive program not only complements but also enriches the existing curriculum by providing invaluable opportunities for students to grasp the practical application of research and engage in clinical research activities. At the heart of this initiative lies an innovative placement scheme interwoven seamlessly into the undergraduate programme. Under the guidance of seasoned experts in clinical research and Evidence-Based Practice, the program has been meticulously designed in collaboration with academic luminaries to seamlessly integrate core research principles into the academic modules.

The formidable trio comprising Karl Ward, Lead Nurse Research and Innovation Education at LTHT, Dr Jacqueline Parkin, Head of Nursing and Healthcare at LBU, and Henry Kirby, Senior Lecturer in the School of Health at LBU, have spearheaded this initiative since its inception. Together, they have delivered an impressive array of ten lectures, reaching out to over 500 nursing students, apprentice nurses, and trainee nursing associates across all levels of their training.

Karl Ward, Lead Nurse Research, and Innovation Education at LTHT said: “I am incredibly proud that we have reached the final stages of the Nursing Times Student Awards 2024 in the partnership category.

“Developing this type of education and placement model has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from all involved at LTHT and LBU, but seeing the next generation of nurses being able to apply what they learn in university and becoming more involved in research has made it all very worthwhile”.

Dr Jacqueline Parkin Head of Nursing and Healthcare at the School of Health at LBU said: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for this award, particularly because it’s relating to partnership working and demonstrates the fantastic partnership work that we do with LTHT.

“We believe that research confident nurses deliver a better outcome for patients and being able to embed that early on into the nursing curriculum helps reinforce that message to our students.

“Creating an innovative placement pathway where students have the chance to spend time with clinical research nurses, such as Karl, helps them understand what research nurses do, how they are working towards improving health outcomes for patients and shows students a career pathway into research nursing.”