Newly qualified nurse wins award for being outstanding

A newly qualified nurse from the University of Portsmouth has won an award for outstanding healthcare workers.

Momodou Bojang, 38, and a nurse on the rehabilitation ward at Arundel and District Community Hospital, was awarded a scholarship on a leadership and management programme run by the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

The award comes in the wake of Momodou’s own battle with being diagnosed with Covid, and opens doors to leadership in his career.

He said: “You don’t become a nurse to become rich, but if you’re compassionate, you can transform a life just by touching a patient’s arm or giving someone five minutes of your time to talk.

“It’s a noble profession and one I’m very proud of.

“I feel very privileged to have won this award. It’s the best thing any nurse can hope to get their hands on. 

I feel very privileged to have won this award. It’s the best thing any nurse can hope to get their hands on.

Momodou Bojang, Award winner

“Leadership courses are usually for experienced staff and most newly qualified nurses are a little scared and not ready to think about becoming leaders. To have won this gives me confidence and the tools to think about how to go about establishing a workplace that works for and with everyone in it.”

Momodou trained as a nurse in his home country, Gambia, and then spent eight years as a soldier in the British Army. When he decided to practice nursing again, he knew he’d need to requalify, so he enrolled on the adult nursing course at the University of Portsmouth.

Having to start from the beginning with his training didn’t faze him.

“I’m Muslim, and a firm believer in things happen for a reason. Muslims get bad press, but we believe in both education and acceptance.

“I nurse because I have a love for humanity. I respect everybody and treat patients like my own mother or father or sister. This is who I am, it’s not about the money.”

I nurse because I have a love for humanity. I respect everybody and treat patients like my own mother or father or sister. This is who I am, it’s not about the money.

Momodou Bojang, Award winner

The Florence Nightingale Foundation said Momodou’s application for the scholarship was “outstanding”.

While still in the final year of his degree course, Momodou volunteered to help with the emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic and contracted the virus himself. 

He took a fortnight off work then, as soon as he could, was back on the frontline helping others. He qualified from the University of Portsmouth last July and submitted an application for the scholarship award.

The Florence Nightingale Foundation leadership scholarship programmes are designed to build competence and confidence and enable award holders to contribute to policy and practice in improving patient care and health outcomes at local and national level. Its goal is for award winners to become courageous and confident leaders. 

I have very clear memories of Mo on the first day in the tutor group - calm, considered, and reflective even at that early stage with a warm smile that I knew would allow him to connect with his patients. His practice feedback was always reflective of Mo as a person - focused on making the most of every opportunity in practice to learn and grow with his patients' needs at the centre of his practice.

Suzanne Rampton, Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Health and Care Professions at the University of Portsmouth

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