Jodie Kirby

Student Nurse of the Year

Graduated in 2013

It was her childhood experience of caring for her mum after a stroke that inspired Jodie Kirby to pursue a career in nursing. Now, at the age of 27, she is tipped for the top after winning the prestigious Nursing Times Student Nurse of the Year Award in the Mental Health category. Jodie is currently working with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust (BSMHT) and is coming back to Birmingham City University to study for a top-up-degree.

She secured the accolade in recognition of her commitment to learning and development and the use of her skills to make a real difference to the lives of mental health service users. The award celebrates the skills required to nurse patients who are often hard to reach, and the judges looked for someone exceptional who showed compassion and empathy, as well as academic achievement, who could act as a role model for student nursing.

Despite clearly having these skills and dedication, Jodie was shocked to be crowned the winner at the ceremony.

But this surprise was not shared by her lecturers, who firmly believe Jodie is destined for success in the field of mental health nursing.

Andrew Walsh, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Health, said: "Jodie's very knowledgeable about mental health nursing. She's very passionate about it; she really believes in what she's doing.

"She's always been really interested in the academic side of it but I know from the feedback we've received from the people in the NHS that they've been really impressed with her commitment and they're quite sure that she's got a very bright future there."