Zoe Butler, 20, studying Adult Nursing at the University of Cumbria, is from Kendal
Hard-working Zoe was named University of Cumbria Students' Union Student of the Year in 2016 thanks to her dedication to her chosen career of nursing.
Zoe chose to study a degree in Adult Nursing with the University of Cumbria. Now in her final year - and with a Student of the Year trophy under her belt - she credits her inspiring lecturers and mentors for helping her to achieve success.
“I want to practice and nurse in Cumbria, so there was no point in going miles away,” she said.
“It’s a hands-on course at the University of Cumbria, which is what I wanted. You can find a profession to really fall in love with there.
“My lecturer Alison Buckley is so passionate about her students and that makes me more passionate about my career and want to achieve half as much as she’s achieved.”
Alison recognised Zoe’s drive and dedication and nominated her for a University of Cumbria Students’ Union Success Award, noting Zoe’s desire to improve the educational experience and the health and wellbeing of her local community.
“I’ve learnt things that I didn’t possibly think I could do and thrown myself into everything,” said Zoe. “I’ve done my own research projects, done voluntary work and set up a nursing society with some of my friends.
“I’ve got so much passion for the nursing profession and I love helping my peers in lectures and doing extra reading.
“I didn’t expect to win the award as the other nominees were amazing. I had a few tears after my name was called out.
“I took my mum and dad to the event to say thank you to them, as they’ve always supported and encouraged me to pursue a career in nursing.”
Zoe has had two placements at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust during her studies and has enjoyed the experience of putting her theory into practice.
“During my first placement, I took observations of patients and learnt which observations you’d see in individuals with different conditions,” she said.
“It was a bit scary at first, but I’ve had some fantastic mentors and they’ve been supportive the whole time.
“My second placement was in orthopaedics, which was really interesting because I’d never considered it as a career.
“I did a theatre placement as well and the team were brilliant at involving students. I think that made the difference in me considering that as a career in future.
“Acute medicine is what really fascinates me, though. I find it most rewarding being by people’s sides during their most vulnerable moments and having a connection with them.”
Living on the doorstep of The Lakes helps Zoe to unwind after a busy day studying and working.
“Nursing is an intensive course, so my hobbies are my release,” she said. “I enjoy going hiking with my family and fell running in The Lakes.
“I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’m still finding new things to do.”
“I’ve fallen in love with Cumbria and I couldn’t move away from something so beautiful.”
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