A nursing lead representing Health Education England in the east of the country has been honoured with the Chief Nursing Officer’s Gold Award.
Steve Smith received the outstanding achievement award at a special ceremony after learning the news from NHS chief nursing officer Dame Ruth May.
He said: ”I was stunned when Dame Ruth summed up my career and announced the honour. I’m extremely grateful and humbled. Working with courageous patients and families and amazingly supportive, collaborative colleagues has always been a huge privilege.”
Steve received the award for his work during 22 years as a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, becoming associate professor in nursing sciences and taking on roles including course director for adult nursing and director of employability.
His specialist area of teaching was care for people with neurological disorders. Steve published two books on the subject and researched ways to improve care for people with the hereditary brain disorder Huntington’s disease.
The award also referenced his work over decades managing care facilities for people with long-term neurological conditions and as a member of the World Federation of Neuroscience Nursing Scientific Programme Committee, as well as his current participation in developing a Masters Neurocare course in collaboration with universities in Sri Lanka (where the course will be adopted) and in Europe.
Dame Ruth commended him for making learning fun and memorable by using songs to help students remember the content of lectures.
Steve now works as HEE’s East of England Regional Nurse RePAIR Lead (Reducing Pre-registration Attrition and Improving Retention). This involves working with the East of England HEE team, universities and other partners to give students the best possible learning experience and start their careers.