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SONMS PhD students awarded Nightingale scholarships for second year running

11 July 2013

SONMS PhD students and lecturers Nicola West and Amie Hodges


Two PhD students from Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies have been awarded highly competitive research scholarships by the Florence Nightingale Foundation. Students Nicola West (above left) and Amie Hodges (above right), both of whom are also lecturers at the School, were awarded scholarships for the second year running, following a competitive application process.

Nikki commented, “Last year we [Amie and I] went down to London for the interview, which is the final stage of the process. This year, we were interviewed via Skype, which really was amazing! I wore a suit just like for any other interview and on Skype there was a panel of judges asking me questions. I really do think it’s important for people to apply for these opportunities, because there is support out there.”

Nicola West

Nicola West is the only Consultant Nurse in breast care in Wales. Her research engages with BRCA 1/2 gene mutation carriers and their families. The BRCA1/2 gene greatly increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women. The role of gene mutations in breast cancer has received much press coverage of late, following Angelina Jolie’s preventative double mastectomy in February this year.

Nikki’s research project follows several individuals - carriers and family members, pre and post operation - who have opted to have mastectomies in order to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer. Nikki is based at the purpose-built breast centre in Llandough hospital for 3 days a week, and as an adult lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies for 2 days a week.

Amie Hodges

Amie Hodges is an experienced lecturer on the Child Nursing (BN) Programme with a specialist background in children’s respiratory health care as well as in respiratory service development. Her research aims to provide an insight to the needs of children aged 8 to 12 who have a brother or sister with cystic fibrosis. Sibling needs can often be forgotten or insufficiently met when there is an ill child within the family.

Amie’s research project will explore the siblings’ view of their own wellbeing within their family and will use participatory methods to engage the children in the project. It will provide them with an opportunity to be heard and to state what their needs are. The project will challenge assumptions concerning sibling wellbeing.