The last month of the year is a time to reflect on the year and celebrate achievements. For Ruth Oshikanlu, Queen’s Nurse and Nurse entrepreneur, 2019 has provided a great deal to celebrate.
At the end of last year, Ruth Oshikanlu was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2019 Honours List for being an Ambassador for the Health Visiting Profession and for services to Community Nursing, Children and Families. She received her award from Prince William Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the ceremony held at Buckingham Palace on May 2nd, 2019.
With over 25 years’ experience as a midwife and health visitor, Ruth Oshikanlu is no stranger to achievement. She holds fellowships from The Royal College of Nursing, Royal Society of Arts and The Institute of Health Visiting.
At the start of March 2019, Ruth was one of the 150 exceptional people from across the UK awarded with a Churchill Fellowship from The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. ‘Travel to learn, return to inspire’ is the instruction given to each fellow: to learn from the world about the UK’s crucial issues and bring those global insights home. Early in 2020, Ruth will travel to Australia and the USA to investigate support for young people with adverse childhood experiences. She will use her findings to develop a toolkit for health professionals working with young people who have experienced trauma.
Every year, The DIVAS of Colour International Awards are held to celebrate professional and entrepreneurial Black women and other women of colour around the world. Ruth won The Health Professional Woman of The Year Awards 2019, at the end of March for the great contribution she has made to the lives of women and children she has cared for.
Ruth was also a finalist in The Role Model for Gender category at The National Diversity Awards 2019. A record breaking 28,000 people were nominated this year, with Ruth being one of the eight finalists in her category.
In November, the first International Maternity (IME) Awards was held in West London. At the inaugural IME Awards, Ruth received a commendation in the International Inclusion Award category for her outstanding contribution to maternity and midwifery services for improving pregnancy outcomes women who feel marginalised or socially excluded.
Finally, to round off a year of celebrations, Ruth was conferred with a Honorary Doctorate Degree in Health and Social Care from London South Bank University. Each year, London South Bank University awards a number of honorary degrees and fellowships to distinguished individuals who have made significant achievements and have a special affinity with the work and values of our University. The ceremony was held on November 4, 2019 at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall. Ruth was ecstatic to receive the doctorate degree from the university where she trained to become a health visitor over 14 years before.
Ruth said: “Returning to the university that enabled me to be the health visitor that I am today, to be conferred with a doctorate degree was such an exhilarating experience. It has definitely inspired me to leave a legacy for the profession that I am privileged to be a part of.”
According to Ruth, “It has been an exciting year! All these awards are a brilliant advertisement for nursing, midwifery and health visiting! So much of our work goes unnoticed and people do not know the difference we as nurses and midwives make to the lives of children and their families, especially in the community. Next year is The International Year of The Nurse and Midwife. This year has been the best preparation of a whole year of celebrating our great profession. I feel so enthused and will be blowing my trumpet even harder by showcasing why nursing, midwifery and health visiting matters”.
Roll on 2020! The Year of The Nurse and Midwife!