Joan Newberry, nurse, Friends School Lisburn is a finalist in the Patient's Choice Award in the RCN Nursing Awards 2023
Joan Newberry was nominated by Josh Hannigan who says she always goes above and beyond for him and all the other pupils at the Friends’ School Lisburn in Northern Ireland.
The 16-year-old says: ‘Joan is my school nurse and I have nominated her because she has looked after me constantly since I have been at the school, both mentally and physically.
‘I have had multiple accidents such as a broken arm and broken ankle, as well as torn knee ligaments. Throughout Joan has been a huge help caring for me and giving me the support I need to not just succeed in school, but with daily activities.
‘Joan was able to give me the mental health care and support I needed when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression but struggled to engage with mental health services.
‘She regularly checks how I am doing. I had a significant increase in anxiety when I was coming up to exams but Joan was always able to give me the support I needed.
‘There are so many other examples of Joan going above and beyond but I think the important thing to understand is Joan is an above and beyond person. She doesn't do things just to complete them because in her eyes that's not good enough.’
Joan is ‘surprised and delighted’ to have been nominated for an award by Josh.
‘I’m surprised because I’m at the end of my career and surprised as I don’t have “patients”. I have my amazing students, aged from three to 18 years and feel privileged to know each one.
‘I’m delighted that Josh took the time to nominate me and that he has had his voice heard. Mental health issues in our young people is a huge issue. And it takes a huge amount of courage to admit that you are mentally struggling. This is more difficult for our young male population.
‘Josh represents so many who struggle and I am so proud that Josh has felt empowered to speak out and hope through his example that others will. He is an amazing young man and we have cried and laughed together.
‘I hope this raises awareness of the young people of Northern Ireland who need fit-for-purpose mental health services for all and services that are as diverse as our young people.
‘Also, I am so pleased for the very small number of independent school nurses in Northern Ireland who are largely unrecognised in their roles, so girls this is for us!’