A newly-qualified nurse has been honoured for her dedication to the profession.
Learning disabilities nurse Sherilee Gray is one of only six nurses in the country to receive the special Heath Award for the commitment she has shown during her nursing degree.
The award is presented each year to the best nurses and midwives graduating from Northumbria University’s programmes.
Sherilee now works within the Community Learning Disabilities Team at Benton House, Newcastle, which is part of the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.
She undertook her work placements with the team and went straight into a job as soon as she qualified.
The 41-year-old, from Blyth, said: “I was inspired to become a nurse by my brother, who has Asperger syndrome.
“Everyone on my course was brilliant so it was a real shock and honour to be singled out for the award, but I’m so proud to receive it.
“I absolutely love being a nurse, every day is a new challenge and brings a huge amount of satisfaction.”
This year’s winners, including Sherilee, all achieved First Class Honours in their nursing degree programmes.
Helen Lamont, chairman of the trust, said: “Nursing and midwifery are such critical roles, and the quality of care makes all the difference to the patient experience.
“These awards were bequeathed by a former surgeon at ‘The Infirmary’, now the Royal Victoria Infirmary, to celebrate excellence in the practice and theory of nursing and midwifery.”
Professor Alison Machin, head of nursing, midwifery and health at Northumbria University, added: “The standard of nominations for the awards has, yet again, been exceptionally high.
“Northumbria University is the principal provider of nurse education in the north east of England, and we are privileged to have such hard working, compassionate and high achieving students who develop into high quality, skilled professionals.
“It is a real honour to teach and work with them, and it’s wonderful to be able to recognise their efforts in this way.”
For more information on nursing, midwifery and health courses at Northumbria University, visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/nursing