Congratulations to local woman Nicola Braid who has been awarded Honorary Fellow status in Nursing Studies from  the University of Edinburgh. Nicola, who is a charge nurse at Lynebank Hospital, received this prestigious award in recognition of how valuable her contributions to research, teaching and strategic consultation could be. Nicola’s clinical leadership in the field of learning disabilities has been praised.

“We are delighted that Nicola, as a former alumni, has been awarded Honorary Fellow status here in Nursing Studies, at the University of Edinburgh. This demonstrates our commitment to develop our curricula to be innovative and shine a light on the field of learning disabilities. We are aware of Nicola’s national reputation, clinical leadership and advocacy for those who experience learning disabilities and therefore working with her will help us strengthen the impact we and our students can have on the lives of those with learning disabilities,” said Professor Aisha Holloway, Head of Nursing Studies, University of Edinburgh.

Nicola will continue to collaborate with the University on the development and provision of innovative learning and teaching through the nursing curriculum and student experience in the field of learning disabilities.

Nicola was inspired to become a nurse because of her aunt Lynn who has learning disabilities. “I could see the challenges that my aunt, and my family faced on a daily basis and I aspired to reduce the discrimination people with learning disabilities faced when accessing health and social care services. My passion has grown since the first day of my undergraduate programme at Edinburgh Napier University which has made me grab all opportunities with both hands”, said Nicola.

With hard work and motivation Nicola developed a network of support with colleagues, senior nurses in NHS Fife and nurses at a national level, successfully completing an Early Clinical Careers Fellowship and MSc in Advancing Nursing Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Increasing her clinical experience has highlighted the significant contribution learning disabilities nurses can have across many areas of nursing. Compassionate, innovative, person centred care has been at the forefront of this profession for years.

“I am delighted to have been awarded honorary fellow status at University of Edinburgh. It is a great achievement and I am proud of the work I’m involved in. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the health needs of people with learning disabilities and the role of the learning disabilities nurse across all nursing studies. It is a fantastic opportunity to develop professionally, and personally, to reduce inequalities and improve the lives of people with learning disabilities. It feels rather timely as this year marks 100 years of learning disabilities nurses in the UK so there is a lot of exciting events and news to share,” added Nicola.