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A last minute submission leads to finalist spot for Jade

Student nurse Jade Wareham wearing blue stripey tunic smiling
A last minute submission leads to finalist spot for Jade
22 July 2022

One of our student nurses, Jade Wareham, has been shortlisted for a Royal College of Nursing Award after sending off her submission the day before the deadline.

Jade sent off her entry for the ‘Student’ category for the work she is doing to raise awareness in recognising neurodiversity in the workplace.

Around 1 in 7 people have a neuro divergent condition such as dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia, autism and it was around the 6 month point in Jade’s nursing training that she was diagnosed with dyslexia.

Jade said: “I felt so relieved when they told me I had dyslexia I cried. I had found school really challenging and didn’t really understand why, to be given a diagnosis at 29 years old was an incredibly empowering feeling.

“Students are often shocked to learn that you can be a nurse with dyslexia. I never thought I would be where I am today and having looked into university, I didn’t have all the required GCSE results. Once I qualify, I want to start the next stage of my career in acute medicine.

“I am passionate about breaking the stigma around neurodivergent conditions and raising awareness that with the right support and reasonable adjustments in place everyone can reach their potential.

“We give our patients holistic care; we should support our staff in the same way.”

Jade, who has been with our Trust for over 10 years, is currently studying for her nursing qualification through the Open University and is due to qualify as a registered nurse in 2023.

When asked how she felt about being shortlisted, Jade said: “It’s wonderful news, and my heart is still bursting with pride. I never thought I would be where I am today, the hard work feels even more worth it, and I hope that it will inspire people to follow their career goals.”

Juliet Pearce, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and AHPs, said: “We are so proud of Jade for being chosen as a finalist for the RCN Awards. She is a really valued member of our nursing team and the work she’s doing to raise awareness of neurodiversity and encourage people with a neurodivergent condition is truly inspiring.”

As part of her work Jade ran a survey across the Trust to find out more about what people knew about neurodiversity. 96% of the respondents said they wanted more awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace. 68% of staff were not aware of the reasonable adjustments that can be made to for someone, who has a neurodivergent condition, in the workplace.

In response, Jade has shared her own story and helped to start conversations as a member of our Neurodiversity Staff Network, spoken at the People and Organisational Development Committee to raise awareness with senior leaders and mentored a student. With a team of 10 other NHS employees across to country she has created a resource centre called Sharing Student Healthcare Initiative for Neurodiversity and Equality (SSHINE) made up of university students within the healthcare sector.

The Royal College of Nursing Awards takes place on Thursday 6 October in London and Jade will attend with her husband, nan and dad. We will be keeping everything crossed for you Jade!

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