The annual RCN Foundation Impact Awards recognise outstanding nursing and midwifery practice and research. They are also a celebration of the exceptional work undertaken by nurses, midwives and health care support workers that takes place every day throughout the UK.
Our nine inspirational award winners for 2022 were selected from nurses, midwives and researchers whose RCN Foundation education grants have supported them in remarkable career journeys, creating better care outcomes for patients across the UK.
Remember that for every award winner, there are dozens of successful grant applicants; if you apply for an RCN Foundation education grant in 2022, it could be you winning an Impact Award in 2023.
We’ve profiled each award winner in nine short films; take a peek into their practice here.
1. Samantha Findlay
Meet Samantha Findlay, the winner of our Margaret Parkinson Award for outstanding achievement in student nursing.
For many years, Samantha was a fashion designer. Following the arrival of her second daughter, who has Down's Syndrome, she decided to change careers. She is now a Band 5 nurse in an older adults’ mental health unit in Hull. She was awarded £7,500 to undertake a BSc in Learning Disability Nursing, enabling her to support people with learning disabilities.
2. Karen Kirkpatrick
Meet Karen Kirkpatrick, the winner of the RCN Foundation's Mair Impact Award for outstanding occupational health nursing in Scotland.
An occupational health staff nurse working in Tayside, Karen was awarded £915 towards completion of the two-year Specialist Community Public Health Nurse graduate diploma at the University of the West of Scotland. She completed placements in 15 different workplaces, gaining wide experience that informs her late-career practice.
3. Feyishade Adedugbe
Meet Feyishade Adedugbe, the 2022 winner of the Muriel Stott Award, RCN Foundation's Impact Award for outstanding achievement in professional development.
Feyishade is a haemoglobinopathy clinical nurse specialist. Inspired by a colleague whose dialysis specialism created an incredible rapport with patients, Feyishade applied for an RCN Foundation grant so that she could study whilst working at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust. Now an advanced practitioner in her field, she supports patients at every step of their treatment.
4. Neil King
Meet Neil King, the 2022 winner of the Lady Cowdray Award for outstanding achievement in professional development.
Neil is an NHS Trust safeguarding lead working in Leicestershire; he put a grant of £4000 towards completing an Adult and Child Protection MSc. The management and leadership skills he learned through the course have enhanced the care he is able to provide, to both his team and the vulnerable children and adults he works with.
5. Dr Helen Noble
Meet Dr Helen Noble, the 2022 winner of the Trevor Clay Professional Bursary Scheme Award for an outstanding achievement in professional development.
Helen, a senior clinical nurse specialist, was awarded a £5,000 education grant to learn mindfulness skills with Mindfulness UK. This enabled her to teach mindfulness and compassion to patients with end-stage kidney disease and the staff caring for them. Now a Reader at Queen's University College Belfast, Helen has contributed her research to leading international journals, and led a successful multi-institutional study funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
6. Maritess Murdoch
Meet Maritess Murdoch, the 2022 winner of the Mona Gray Award for an outstanding achievement in professional development.
Maritess, a quality assurance nurse working in North London, was awarded £1,500 towards her final year of the MSc Global Issues in Gerontology and Ageing at the University of Stirling. During her studies, she created a forum for shared learning, and now delivers care home trainings that support staff to offer meaningful activities to residents.
7. Emma Foster
Meet Emma Foster, the 2022 winner of the RCN Foundation and Leathersellers' Charity Impact Award for outstanding achievement in student nursing.
Emma was awarded £2,500 towards her BSc in Nursing (Mental Health) at the University of York. Whilst studying, Emma stepped up as a COVID-19 student nurse, significantly developing her skills and confidence. She now works as a nurse at a mental health hospital in York, and hopes to become a practice assessor, supporting students to develop their competencies.
8. Carlito Adan
Meet Carlito Adan, the 2022 winner of the Muriel Fleet Award for outstanding achievement in professional development.
Carlito, a senior clinical research nurse, was awarded 350 Euros to present his King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust renal research work at an international dialysis conference. Through talking to fellow nurses at the conference, he identified opportunities for sharing information within his department, ensuring that research projects are now widely acknowledged as a treatment option for patients.
9. Lauren Mitchell
Meet Lauren Mitchell, the 2022 winner of the RCN Foundation's Impact Award for an outstanding Needlemakers’ education grant recipient.
Lauren is a midwife at Milton Keynes University Hospital who was awarded £1,000 towards a research investigation module. Completing her studies has enabled her to develop in a professional capacity, both academically and clinically, providing care that centres the needs of women experiencing complex pregnancies.
About the RCN Foundation
The RCN Foundation is here to support every member of the nursing team as they care for patients and improve the UK’s health and wellbeing. Our grants for nursing-led research and projects, as well as for education and hardship, support professionals to innovate, develop their careers and get through tough times. Learn more about our grants.