Nottingham Nurse receives British Empire Medal from the Her Majesty the Queen | Latest news

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Nottingham Nurse receives British Empire Medal from the Her Majesty the Queen

Nottingham University Hospitals is incredibly proud that one of our nurses has been recognised for their contributions to the NHS.

Nurse Onyinye Enwezor has been graciously awarded with an honorary British Empire Medal (BEM) by Her Majesty the Queen in today’s (Saturday 10 October) announcement of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Onyi qualified as a nurse and midwife from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria in 2000 and 2002 respectively. In 2011, she obtained a BSc (Hons.) degree from the University of Nottingham.

In 2003 Onyi moved to the United Kingdom and did her Adaptation programme at Hillcroft Nursing Home in Morecambe, Lancaster.  She then moved to Nottinghamshire and worked at Mansfield Community Hospital for 11 months before getting a job with TEAM NUH in 2005 as a theatre nurse.  In 2019 she left theatres as a Deputy Sister when she got her dream job, and current role, as a Shared Governance Clinical Educator at our Institute of Nursing and Midwifery Care Excellence.

Of her award, Onyi said: “I am shocked and truly humbled to receive this award. I always wanted to be a nurse and I am so thankful that my lovely parents supported me to achieve my goal.”

“A lot of factors have greatly contributed to my success, one of which is Shared Governance.  It has really helped me achieve great satisfaction as a nurse because it truly empowers staff.  I have been part of the Trust’s BAME Shared Governance Council since it started in 2018.  It has not been an easy journey but it has been very rewarding.  I live by the mantra Please seize every opportunity you get to serve excellently and selflessly as you may not have a second chance. I am truly grateful to all those who have in the course of my career created these opportunities for me.”

“A big thank you to my family, friends and colleagues for the support and encouragement over the years, but above all I want to thank God for His grace and mercy.”

Professor Mandie Sunderland, Chief Nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals said: “We are so very proud of Onyi for being recognised in this way for all that she has contributed to the NHS.

Onyi is one of our Shared Governance Clinical Educators, an experienced theatre nurse, and founding member and deputy chair of our Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Shared Governance (SG) council. Onyi is known to be an inspiring role model and clinical nurse leader.

Onyi works tirelessly as deputy chair for our BAME Shared Governance Council, providing leadership, often working in her own time to ensure the council delivers projects to improve care for BAME patients and raise awareness of the challenges faced by BAME nurses and midwives, for example informing the rapid development of an innovative COVID-19 risk assessment in response to BAME staff feedback and concerns.

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic Onyi worked actively to support recruitment, education and training for the redeployment of our staff. As the context of the pandemic escalated and the concerns of the impact on BAME staff and local communities started to emerge, Onyi worked actively to connect with and support escalate concerns of individual BAME nurses, giving a voice to those of her colleagues who haven’t had her confidence to speak up.

Onyi’s contribution is immeasurable.  Her determination and active leadership this year has been so impressive and we are incredibly proud to have her as a part of Team NUH.”

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