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Nursing students awarded Florence Nightingale Research Scholarships

26 July 2013

Two PhD students from Cardiff University have been awarded highly competitive research scholarships by the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Students Nicola West and Amie Hodges from the Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, both of whom are also lecturers at the School, were awarded the scholarship for the second year running, following a competitive application process.

Upon having received the accolade, Nicola said:

"Last year we [Amie and I] went down to London for the interview, which is the final stage of the process. This year, we were interviewed via Skype, which really was amazing. I wore a suit just like for any other interview and on Skype there was a panel of judges asking me questions. I really do think it’s important for people to apply for these opportunities, because there is support out there."

Nicola West is the only Consultant Nurse in breast care in Wales.

Her research engages with BRCA 1/2 gene mutation carriers and their families. The BRCA1/2 gene greatly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women.

The role of gene mutations in breast cancer has received much press coverage of late, following Angelina Jolie’s preventative double mastectomy in February this year.

Nicola’s research project follows several individuals - carriers and family members, pre and post operation - who have opted to have mastectomies in order to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer.

She is based at the purpose-built breast centre in Llandough hospital for three days a week, and as an adult lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies for two days a week.

Amie Hodges is an experienced lecturer on the Child Nursing (BN) Programme with a specialist background in children’s respiratory health care as well as in respiratory service development.

Her research aims to achieve an insight to the needs of children aged eight to 12 who have a brother or sister with cystic fibrosis. Sibling needs can often be forgotten or insufficiently met when there is an ill child within the family.

Amie’s research project will explore the siblings’ view of their own wellbeing within their family and will use participatory methods to engage the children in the project. It will provide them with an opportunity to be heard and to state what their needs are. The project will challenge assumptions concerning sibling wellbeing.

Useful links:

Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Tomas Llewelyn Barrett
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 875 596
Mobile: 07950792532

Notes to editors

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.