Keele MBA student named Learner of the Year in NHS awards

A student studying on Keele Business School’s MBA course has been named ‘Learner of the Year’ in the North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust REACH Awards 2021.

Jessica Fitzgerald, a Consultant Nurse in Learning Disabilities, received the award for successfully embedding learning in the workplace while providing outstanding care and compassion to service users of the NHS Trust.

As a result of studying on the Senior Leader MBA degree apprenticeship at Keele, Jessica has been able to apply the skills and knowledge obtained from her studies in the workplace and has initiated and led a number of service improvements including the recruitment of four Learning Disability Expert by Experience advisors which allows colleagues with a learning disability to guide service developments, communication, training and recruitment.

Jessica has also been able to utilise skills acquired on the course such as customer profiling, strategic analysis and digital transformation skills to strongly influence the creation of a successful proposal for a purpose-built specialist ward.

Jessica with her award

The MBA Senior Leader course at Keele University combines a master’s degree, apprenticeship, and the option to achieve either Chartered Manager or Chartered Fellow professional status. It is designed for professional managers in the private, public or third sectors, and is designed for any individual moving into or currently in a senior management role.

Speaking of her award, Jessica said: “The programme has helped me to grow in both confidence and skill and in turn supported my success in being appointed to my dream role as a Consultant Nurse in Learning Disabilities.

“Without the Senior Leadership MBA, I expect it would have been some years before I had the confidence to apply for this post. I feel very privileged to work for an organisation that has supported my apprenticeship and am proud to see the influence this is having upon the services we deliver. My deepest thanks go to Combined Healthcare and Keele University.”

Dr Will Foster, Director of MBA and Executive Programmes at Keele Business School added: “This is a fantastic achievement and a real credit to Jessica’s dedication and the way she has engaged with the MBA, using every opportunity to apply her learning to her role and the workplace.

“As a result, she has not only made a significant impact to the Trust but also experienced career acceleration through the confidence that the MBA has given her, and I am sure there are even better things to come for her in the future – a real heartfelt congratulations go to Jessica.”