Top academic plaudit for role model nurse who proves it’s never too late to follow a dream

An inspirational newly-qualified community psychiatric nurse has been awarded the highest of honours from his university for his outstanding achievements and performance among graduating peers.

Top academic plaudit for role model nurse who proves it’s never too late to follow a dream

Bornwell Machekanyanga, who works in Buckinghamshire, is the proud recipient of The Dean’s Prize for Enterprise in Nursing by Leeds Beckett University which he will receive in a summer graduation ceremony next year.

The dad of three switched to studying for a nursing career later in life than many, but that he says just proves ‘it is never too late to pursue and achieve a professional career and desires of one’s heart, soul and mind’ adding that he is confident his story can positively impact on others.

A delighted Bornwell aged 61, pictured, said: “I feel so humbled, welcomed, encouraged and motivated – it is awesome indeed being part of the Trust and receiving notification of the award.

“I hope this will be a good reflection to other students, showing that if they work hard, they will upgrade themselves to being professionals as qualified and registered nurses. The Trust’s support for staff is awesome, unparalleled as I am finding out in my learning experience post qualifying.”

The prize Bornwell has received recognises an outstanding level of achievement, commitment, and exceptional contributions in outstanding academic performance in graduating students.

Chief Nurse Marie Crofts is delighted for Bornwell: “It is wonderful that he has been recognised for his hard work and dedication during his nurse training. We are exceptionally proud to have him working with us at Oxford Health as a community psychiatric nurse.”

Bornwell’s journey

Bornwell’s previous career included several different roles in property, finance and administration. These experiences helped him realise his passion for working with and helping others.

In the early 2000s Bornwell began volunteering, part-time assisting people with mental health needs. He later joined Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as a bank nursing assistant, supporting people with different mental health needs, mainly those of working age and adults over 65.

As his three children grew older, he decided to return to full-time university study. Following a successful open day at Leeds City College he began a level 3 Health Science Professions diploma and graduated with the highest achievable grade.

Bornwell then went on to study a BSc (Honours) in Mental Health Nursing at Leeds Beckett University, going on to achieve a First-Class Honours Degree.

In 2021, Oxford Health’s North Buckinghamshire Old Adults Team offered him a Mental Health Practitioner position, which he gladly accepted. His current role as a community psychiatric nurse involves:

  • providing mental health assessment and treatment in the community for patients with defined mental health needs
  • supporting the patients to reach their optimum level of recovery
  • acting as their Care Programme Approach Care Coordinator with a defined caseload
  • undertaking duty roles and assessments
  • providing home treatment for patients experiencing a mental health crisis
  • supporting patients to remain in their usual place of residence

Bornwell went on to say: “I enjoy my job and work with an incredibly supportive team of supervisors, management, medics, consultants, nurses, healthcare support staff, admin staff and peers, and this helps me meet my goal to provide a caring, safe and excellent standard of care to our patients in a person-centred and holistic approach.”

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Published: 25 November 2021