School Annual Achievement Awards 2022 returns as live event

17 Jun 2022

Celebrating the great achievements of our students, colleagues of the School of Nursing and Midwifery and our clinical colleagues in practice.

Celebrating the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery Annual Achievement Awards, University College Cork, which returns this year as a live event

The Annual Achievement Awards are a celebratory occasion marking the valiant efforts of students and staff who have exhibited excellence in all aspects of university life and acknowledged students and healthcare workers who have made broader societal contributions. Winners were selected based on their exemplary performance in the 2021/2022 academic year.

Undergrad Student of the Year

Mr. James Morrison

Postgrad Student of the Year

Ms. Yanqing Yang


Ms. Aoife Murphy

Arts & Entertainment

Ms. Emily Murphy


Equality & Diversity

Ms. Emily Osborn

Community Engage

Ms. Frances Lehane


Ms. Helena McCallum

Clinical Environment

1B CUH Covid Ward


Patricia J Power Award

Ms Ciara Stack

Keady Clifford Award

Ms. Roisin Russell

The Awardees  1B CNM Group - CUH

UCC’s School of Nursing and Midwifery Annual Achievement Awards Ceremony took place in person on the afternoon of Thursday 16th June. After two years of hosting this event online, it was a pleasure to celebrate the achievements of students and staff with family, faculty and friends in person in Brookfield.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery Annual Achievement Awards 2022 was a celebratory occasion marking the great achievements of students who have exhibited excellence in many aspects of university life and acknowledged students and healthcare workers who have made broader societal contributions. Winners were selected based on their exemplary performance in the 2021/2022 academic year.

Prof Josephine Hegarty, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery commented on the awards, “The annual achievement awards are a great opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of nursing and midwifery students to both the health services and wider society, and to acknowledge the extraordinary clinical educators that support student learning within clinical environments.”

The Undergraduate Student of the Year 2022 award was presented to James Morrison, a 2nd year BSc General Nursing Student. James was reported by his nominator to have shown excellent compassionate nursing leadership throughout his clinical placements to date. Preceptors have praised James for his exceptional bedside manner, compassion, and his zeal to learn and improve on his practice. Despite the busy nature of the clinical areas during Covid outbreaks, James without hesitation worked well with staff and MDT to make a positive difference in the care of his patients. Preceptors have highlighted that James is highly dependable, has a good work ethic and is diligent in provision of nursing care to patients. The CPC who nominated him found James hard working, diligent and resourceful. James’s dedication and commitment to the nursing profession made him a forerunner for this undergraduate student of the year award.

The Postgraduate Student of the Year award 2022 was presented to Yanquing Yang a student on the MSc Nursing (International). Her nominators said that, as an international nursing student, Yanqing works very hard. She balanced her part-time job and academic study very well. She had high academic grades in the first semester, which was 74% on average, and encouraged other fellow students to be better all the time. She sets a very good example to other international nursing students and helps them to be better, particularly the Chinese nursing students and she makes a great contribution to UCC. 

The award for Student Leader of the Year 2022 was presented to Mercy Adeniran who was nominated by one of her lecturers as she took on the role of first year student rep with enthusiasm and commitment. From the very beginning she made herself known to students and staff, intuitively understanding her role, and willing to become involved within the classroom and beyond to support the early transition into university life. Throughout this year she provided support for her classmates, communicating regularly with them, in addition to organising nights out, ensuring strong social bonds within the class. She is self-motivated, organized, and empathetic. Mercy says: “To my fellow student nurses and midwives who have begun paving the path to our vocation in this field, stay strong, you’re not alone, and if you need a listening ear I’ve got you.”

The award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life 2022 was presented to Loveth Chidimma Ani who, as an international student, recognised the challenge with blending in and adequate utilization of provided resources and offered supports to students. A close second in this category was Ms Laura Duffy who has on many occasions advocated for students.

The Award for Recognition in Sport 2022 was presented to Aoife Murphy who was described as “wonderful, dedicated, hardworking and talented” Aoife is a 3rd year general nursing student and was nominated for this award in recognition of her her talents, time and sporting efforts with UCC's Women's Soccer team. While balancing a demanding and crucial academic work load alongside 16 weeks of clinical placement, Aoife worked tirelessly for her club both as a committee member and as a player (as a defender and as goal keeper) all the way through to the cup final which came back to back with her final exams in early May. Aoife epitomizes team work, commitment, motivation, and achieving a goal that is dreamed about.

A very close runner-up in this category was David Adebayo who was nominated in recognition of his many achievements with UCC Soccer in the last few years and more recently UCC Boxing. “David is so humble in words, but the big smile that crosses his face speaks volumes. While balancing his heavy academic load as a 3rd year student nurse, 16 weeks of clinical placement, his training schedule, his matches and checking in on family, friends and class mates, David epitomizes what is means to be committed to a team (through the easy times and the hard times), inspiring, and true to his natural talents both on a soccer pitch and in a boxing ring” his nominator stated.

The Community Engagement Award 2022 was presented to Frances Lehane a CNM and preceptor to students in the Social Inclusion addiction services in conjunction with the Cork Mental Health Services. This is a specialist placement for Mental Health Student Nurses. All students who attend this placement area always speak so highly of Frances; as a person, her positivity, the care she delivers to each service user and the learning they have gained from their time with her. Frances is an outstanding nurse in her field and is clearly committed to social inclusion.

The Award for Recognition in the Arts and Entertainment 2022 was presented to Emily Murphy a preceptor in Intellectual Disability Nursing. She was reported by students as having offered great guidance and sought multiple learning opportunities. As we know, nursing is both and art and a science and this has been evident in Emily’s delivery of care. Emily has had to be creative in adapting care delivery in the context of Covid-19. Emily has positively impacted her environment, her colleagues and students and most of all her clients during this past year. 

The Promoting Equality and Diversity Award 2022 was presented to Emily Osborne, a 3rd year mental health nursing student. In addition to focusing on her academic work and clinical placements, she is devoted to trying to make an active difference on campus. As vice-chair of UCC’s Feminist Society she aims to educate students on political matters and raise awareness of and funds for important causes such as the Sexual Violence Centre Cork and Women’s Aid. She also holds the position of editor for the Sexpress section with the UCC Express team, where she writes about sexual health, body image, and gender identity. Alongside these, she is also the outgoing Mental Health Rep for UCCSU, where she assisted in organising mental health awareness events and raised awareness about the various mental health facilities available for students on Campus. Preceptors and CPCs speak very highly of Emily, and her enthusiasm for mental health nursing is obvious. She is passionate about her role as a mental health nursing student, as well as the extra-curricular work she does on campus. 

The Best Clinical & Quality Learning Environment of the Year 2022 is presented to the area/unit that has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to prioritising excellence and leadership as a learning environment. There were eight clinical areas nominated, but this year it is awarded to Ward 1B in Cork University Hospital. Sheila Lordan CNM2 and Marie Cotter CNM1 were praised by students and staff alike.

One nominator explained: “During the Covid19 surge nearly 75% of 1B staff were redeployed to the core designated covid ward in CUH .Over the last three years adaptation nurses and new staff were transitioning into their roles on 1B. With huge challenges and demand for student placements there was a requirement for setting up 1B as a placement site again. Under the excellent Leadership of Sheila Lordan CNM2 and Marie Cotter CNM1 student placements were planned with considerable level of thought and careful monitoring. Their efforts have resulted in huge student satisfaction during placements and positive student feedback on their learning experience on 1B. Students appreciated the huge support they received from both CNMs and the staff on 1B.”

The Preceptor of the Year award 2022 was a challenging category this year as over 30 individual preceptors were nominated for this award. This year it is presented to Helena McCallum, a staff nurse in St Joseph’s Ward in the Bon Secours Hospital. Helena was nominated by numerous students. One nominating student stated “I wish to nominate Helena as she was a fantastic preceptor during my first rotation of my 4th year internship. […] she was a fantastic support to myself and many other students. She is approachable, supportive, knowledgeable and has an infectious positive attitude. She is a fantastic manager and preceptor. She approaches everything with a solution focused mind set which made me feel like I could come to her with any problem whether small or big. She is someone that creates a lovely atmosphere as soon as she walks onto the ward and any student who has her as a preceptor is very lucky in my opinion!”.

Some very strong runner up mentions for Katie Mulcahy in the ED CUH, and for Cliona McSweeney a staff nurse on GC ward in CUH who were also very highly commended.

The very special Keady Clifford Award for Excellence in Children’s Nursing 2022 is presented to Roisin Russell.This award seeks to honour Keady Clifford’s memory and to recognize an exemplary student in the context of children’s nursing. Her nominators stated “Roisin was a wonderful student and a very competent nurse intern. She has excellent knowledge and always delivered beautiful nursing care with great compassion. She received very positive feedback in all clinical placements, seeking out learning at every opportunity. Roisin particularly excelled in children’s nursing. This was clearly evident in her lovely ability to relate with infants and children of all ages, and her kindness and sensitivity for parents and family. Roisin was nominated for this award by a number of CNMs and was described by one ward CNM as having competence, intuition and ability beyond her years of nursing. Her excellent organisational skills, work ethic, critical thinking, analytical and problem solving ability were outstanding and her exemplary knowledge, real dedication, high quality performance, kindness, sensitivity and beautiful nursing care merit an award. She is a great ambassador for children’s nursing and a deserving candidate for the Keady Clifford Award 2022”.

Finally, the Patricia J. Power Excellence in Clinical Practice Award is presented by the Power family to honour the late Patricia Power. There were six very strong nominations for this award, but this year it is awarded to Ms Ciara Stack. Her nominator described Ciara as an outstanding nursing intern,and stated that “her knowledge, clinical understanding and ability to work as part of a team is second to none. Ciara actively seeks out every opportunity to improve her patients care and demonstrates this in the care she provides. One incident of this is when Ciara identified a patient in cardiac arrest and immediately called for the arrest team and began CPR, as a result the man was saved by Ciara. The CNM2 and nursing team on GBR ward contacted me, as the CPC, to commend the outstanding care and work that Ciara had demonstrated that particular day and during her clinical placement. I could not recommend anyone more deserving for this award then Ciara Stack (General Intern CUH)”

This year more than 90 nominations were received across these awards, providing evidence for the enthusiasm and passion that nurses and midwives in this region have for education and excellence. UCC’s School of Nursing and Midwifery would like to thank all those who have supported the education of nursing and midwifery students over the past year.

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais

Brookfield Health Sciences Complex College Road Cork, Ireland , T12 AK54