Inverness nursing student wins UHI title

A student who has gone above and beyond to promote nursing and the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion has been named as the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) nursing student of the year.

Darryl Geegan (32) from Inverness has just completed a BSc nursing degree. He was inspired to study nursing during the COVID-19 pandemic and through his experience of caring for a family member on the autism spectrum.

Darryl was nominated by his Personal Academic Tutor, Marie Cameron, a Senior Lecturer in UHI’s department of nursing and midwifery. She explained: “Darryl has been an outstanding student since starting the nursing programme in 2020. His commitment to nursing has been exceptional and he has demonstrated this in a variety of ways.

“As part of Darryl’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, he wrote a blog about his love of nursing and his activism as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. He is a well-known drag artist (Venus Guytrap) who has hosted Highland Pride. His equality, diversity and inclusion work helps to promote UHI and our department as a safe and welcoming place for all. Darryl has also taken part in a range of activities to promote nursing at UHI and is an advocate for men in nursing.

“Despite Darryl’s significant extra-curricular work, he has done exceptionally well in his degree and will graduate with distinction. His assessors have described him as being well liked by staff and patients, a great team player, enthusiastic, adaptable, keen to learn, having a positive attitude and an ability to put patients at ease.

“Darryl is a valued and supportive member of his student cohort who brings a positive dynamic and mindset to all interactions. These are amongst the many qualities that will make Darryl an excellent nurse and which have made him a pleasure to have as a student. Darryl is an exemplary student and will, I am sure, be an exemplary nurse, who will always go above and beyond to do his best.”

As the winner of UHI nursing student of the year award, Darryl will receive a certificate and a cheque for £100. He will now go forward as a candidate for the overall UHI student of the year title.

Speaking about his success, Darryl said: “As someone who has always been awful at taking compliments, this comes as a huge surprise and will probably take a while to fully sink in! Juggling everything I have going on in life throughout the three-year programme has been extremely difficult, so to be recognised for managing to balance everything is really lovely. I always try my best in everything I do and my nursing career shall be no exception. I'm very much looking forward to getting stuck-in and seeing where my career takes me!”

Find out more about studying nursing at UHI