Salford graduate recognised for outstanding achievement

Categories: School of Health and Society

Salford MA Nursing graduate James Ashton has been awarded the ‘Margaret Parkinson Award’ for outstanding achievement in student nursing at this year’s Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Foundation Impact Awards 2021.

James Ashton

The Virtual Impact Awards celebrated the best and brightest that the profession has to offer, acknowledging the incredible and invaluable contribution of the many thousands of nursing and midwifery staff who work tirelessly every day across the UK.

James applied for a Royal College of Nursing Foundation Grant in his first year at the University and was awarded £7,500 to undertake an MA in Adult Nursing.

Having previously worked in the music industry, James decided to pursue a career in nursing after a life-changing experience volunteering at a government hospital in Sierra Leone.

During the clinical placements on his course, he was exposed to a wide variety of nursing specialities and developed a greater understanding of the nursing process. James received a Distinction upon completion of his course and now works in the Acute Medical Unit at St George’s Hospital in Richmond, London.

On winning the award, James said: “I heard about the RCN Foundation grants while in my first year at Salford and applied as I fit the criteria. I had to go to the RCN head office for an interview and explain how the funding would help keep me financially stable as a mature student returning to education.

“Throughout my studies I split my time between being in Manchester to study and living in London as I had for the past 8 years.

“This funding helped take some of the financial strain away from all the transport costs. It also allowed me to fund my Erasmus placement in Finland for 4 months.

“It will give me a great sense of accomplishment and pride to forever have my name associated with the RCN Foundation.”

James hopes to continue to improve his clinical skills with a view to eventually becoming a Nurse Consultant in emergency medicine.

Professor Margaret Rowe, Dean of the School of Health and Society, said: 

“To be awarded a Royal College of Nursing Foundation Award after changing his career from the music industry clearly demonstrates the hard work and dedication James has put in during his time with us here at Salford.

“To be recognised by the Foundation is a fantastic achievement and I have no doubt he will be a brilliant asset to the profession going forward.”

If you’re a current student and you’re interested in an international opportunity similar to James’ Erasmus placement, visit our International Opportunities page.

Find out more about an MA in Adult Nursing  

You can hear more from James in the video below.

James Ashton

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