Student nurse Sam Richards won the nurse title at this year’s prestigious Student Leadership Programme Awards run by the Council of Deans of Health and the Burdett Trust for Nursing with judges praising him for demonstrating outstanding leadership skills.
Now Sam intends to continue to use those talents by signing up to join the advisory panel for Swansea University’s new Student Leadership Academy (SLA) which is being developed by Beryl Mansel, senior nursing lecturer with the College of Human and Health Sciences.
He said: “I am absolutely over the moon to have won - I was shocked just to have been shortlisted for the award. It is incredibly humbling.”
Second-year student Sam believes one crucial factor in his success was his involvement in the #150 Leaders initiative run by the Council of Deans to develop and encourage those healthcare students with leadership potential.
He is an active member of its online community, regularly sharing ideas and experiences with students not only from nursing but also a wide range of healthcare professions.
“I tend to keep an eye out for when others are having a bit of a wobble - for example the ‘notorious second year blues’ - and do whatever I can to offer support and encouragement,” he said.
“This is something that I’ll apply to my role on the advisory panel, trying to encourage others to acknowledge their strengths, overcome the feelings of self- doubt and realise their potential.
“This is effectively what Beryl and the amazing lecturers at CHHS did for me this time last year and it’s a pleasure to ‘pay it forward’.”
Beryl Mansel said the SLA aims to establish a programme designed to encourage and support students as they develop and apply leadership qualities to their own personal, professional and organisational context, with direct relevance to future employers.
First year students from all health and social care programmes within the College of Human and Health Sciences and Swansea University Medical School will be invited to apply with a pool of 30 selected.
She said: “The focus is not on a leadership title or role but on students gaining insight into their own leadership approach and developing the confidence to lead through inspiring, influencing and supporting others.”
Sam is also hoping to share his passion for multi-disciplinary teamwork with other nurses and take any opportunity to engage with students from other healthcare professions, to broaden their perspective in readiness for practice.
Sam added: “I am more than happy to do all I can to encourage other students and the Academy will provide a great chance to develop emerging talent from a variety of professions.”
Sam be joined on the advisory panel by student midwife Angharad Colinese who was also shortlisted for an award by the Council of Deans of Health. He is pictured with Angharad (right) and Beryl Mansel at the awards.