Katy Arnell, junior sister at Barnet Hospital (BH), has been awarded the prestigious Dean’s Award by the University of Hertfordshire for going the extra mile to support nursing students.

The Dean’s Awards are an opportunity to recognise the outstanding achievements of the university’s school of health and social work students, staff and practice partners. Katy, who has worked in BH’s Olive ward for 21 years, took home the ‘excellent practice placement support’ award for her dedication to student nurses at the hospital.

Katy has managed a number of student nurses on the ward, organising their rotas and liaising with the university to resolve any issues. Students described her as ‘very supportive and always helpful’ and one of them wrote: ‘Katy is the reason I am now coming back to Olive ward as a staff nurse. I can’t thank her enough.’

Katy’s colleagues, who nominated her for the award, said: “She continues to be a role model, setting an example to all practice assessors, and is dedicated to promoting the Nursing and Midwifery Council standards for student supervision and assessment.”  

Katy attended the ceremony and had no idea she would win the award. She said: “At one point I turned to my husband and asked, ‘are you sure I’m supposed to be here?’.

“It was so lovely for my hard work to be recognised by my colleagues and to know the students really appreciate my support. But I don’t do it for any recognition. I do it because I enjoy working with the students and supporting their development. It’s a privilege to share my knowledge with the next generation of nurses.” 

Bev Thomas, director of nursing, BH, congratulated Katy on her success: “It’s brilliant to see Katy recognised by the University of Hertfordshire. We all really appreciate the significant time and effort she invests into our nursing students. It’s so important we make all our students feel welcome and supported at our trust as we guide them on their journeys to becoming healthcare professionals. Thank you for all you do Katy.”