A former Marine Counter Terrorism Authorised Firearms Officer with the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP), Siobhan Callaghan, changed her career after a decade of protecting the nation to follow her life-long dream of becoming a midwife.

Now, the third-year student in the BSc Nursing and Midwifery program at University of the West of Scotland (UWS), has been nominated for the prestigious national award, Student Midwife of the Year in the Student Nursing Times Awards 2024.

The mum-of-four Siobhan said: “I spent six years with Police Scotland and 4 years on boats with guns protecting the nuclear assets of the nation with the Marine Unit. It sounds very James Bond, but it’s not really like that.

“I enjoyed my time in the Police, but you need to do a fitness test every year and I was getting older. My kids were almost all grown up, and I started to think about my next move.

“I’d always wanted to be a midwife but when I got pregnant at 18, I put it on hold. I’ve had four kids in that time, but it was always at the back of my mind.
“When I found out that I had been shortlisted [for the Student Nursing Times Award] I couldn’t believe it, I was very nearly speechless I didn’t think I’d even get shortlisted, so I am really delighted.

“I am also really proud to be able to represent UWS at the awards as the only Scottish candidate in this category.”

Speaking of her time studying with UWS, she added: “It’s been an incredible journey, it’s been hard, but it’s been so satisfying.

“I’m passionate about Midwifery and very passionate about the student experience.”

Siobhan is currently the President of the Midwifery Society, having been a student representative since her first year. Siobhan also sits as the Student Representative on the Nursing and Midwifery Committee within NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde as well as being a committee member of the Royal College of Midwifery Scotland student support network.

Siobhan said, “I’m a great believer that the more you learn the more you can give.”

Siobhan’s studies have also allowed her to publish articles for The Student Midwife journal about her time as a student in a labour ward, and the sacrifices you must make as a student. She created the handbook on student midwifery for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland’s biggest health board, won the UWS Court Medal in 2023 and became the President of the Midwifery Society – UWS’ biggest society.

Connor Murray, Programme Leader of the BSc, and MSc pre-registration midwifery programmes at UWS said, “Siobhan stands out for her exceptional clinical skills, unwavering empathy, and dedication to patient-centred care.

“Throughout her studies, she has consistently demonstrated a genuine passion for midwifery, going above and beyond to support mothers and colleagues during the birthing journeys. Her nomination for this prestigious award is a testament to her hard work, talent, and dedication to the profession.”

The Nursing Times Awards is one of the most respected events in the healthcare industry, recognising the outstanding achievements of nurses, midwives, and healthcare support workers across the UK.

This recognition celebrates the exceptional contributions of student midwives across the UK, highlighting their dedication, compassion, and commitment to excellence in maternity care.

Julie Edgar, Dean, School of Health & Life Sciences at UWS, said: “We are proud to see Siobhan receive this well-deserved recognition and we wish her well with her midwifery career.

“Siobhan’s nomination reflects the high calibre of our BSc Nursing and Midwifery programmes at UWS. We are committed to providing our students with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become compassionate and competent midwives. We are incredibly proud of Siobhan’s and all our students’ achievements and the positive impact she is already making on the lives of mothers and families, colleagues, and other students.

“This nomination is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team who inspire the midwives and nurses of the future and our excellent partnership working with our service colleagues. Our Nursing and Midwifery courses are inclusive for all and aim to empower each individual student to reach their full potential.”

UWS is a leading institution of higher education, offering a vibrant learning environment and a diverse range of academic programs. We are committed to providing our students with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to succeed in their chosen professions and make a positive impact on society.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Friday 26 April 2024.

Headline photo: Siobhan Callaghan
Photo Credit: UWS

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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