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'Influential' nursing professor named in top 10 of the Powerlist 2018

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Issued:24/10/17

Sheffield Hallam University's professor of nursing has been named in the top 10 of the country's most influential black people on the Powerlist 2018.

Professor Laura Serrant is listed at number eight out of 100 of the most influential people of African and Caribbean heritage in Britain as part of the annual list published by Powerful Media.

A graduate of one of the first nursing cohorts from Sheffield Hallam, Laura has been recognised for her long and distinguished career in healthcare and her 'determined' and 'impassioned' voice for equality.

Named as one of the most inspirational women in healthcare by the Health Services Journal, Laura is one of only six black professors of nursing in the UK and her specialist areas of research include health disparities, diversity leadership, sexual health and transcultural issues in health and wellbeing.

Laura began her career as a nurse and outreach worker during the early 1990s, working with and supporting prostitutes, BME communities, drug and alcohol dependents and the homeless as well as working to tackle social attitudes to HIV and AIDS.

Her career in academia began by chance when she was asked to cover for a friend at a healthcare education evening at a college in Nottingham and went on to become director of care, health and childcare services there. 

Now professor of nursing in Sheffield Hallam's Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Laura has developed and published a theoretical framework for conducting research into compassion in practice and has won numerous awards, including the Fellowship of the Queens Nursing Institute for her leadership in community nursing and was appointed to the Prime Minister's commission for the review of nursing and midwifery in 2010.

She is also chair of the Chief Nursing Office for England's BME Strategic Advisory Group, a member of the Government's independent advisory group on black and minority ethnic issues and an ambassador for the Equality Challenge Unit for Higher Education.

An ambassador of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal, Laura campaigned for the Jamaican-born nurse to be honoured for her services in caring for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War which led to the unveiling of the memorial statue in the gardens of St Thomas' Hospital in London last year.

Professor Laura Serrant is no.8 on the Powerlist 2018

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"I am truly honoured and astounded to be recognised in the Powerlist 2018 and I feel incredibly privileged to be listed in the top ten alongside some truly inspirational people. At this time in history it is important that we appreciate and recognise the valuable contributions we make as a diverse society." - Professor Laura Serrant

The Powerlist, which last year celebrated its 10th anniversary, was established to highlight the achievements of British people of African and Caribbean heritage. Sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group, EY, Viacom and ELC, it honours incredible men and women across a wide range of industries including science, technology and the arts.

Winners will be honoured on Tuesday 24th October at the fourth annual Powerlist Influencers Dinner, held at the Drapers’ Hall and hosted by TV presenter June Sarpong. The event will feature an exhibition of historical British black women curated by the Black Cultural Archives.

This year has a witnessed a significant growth in women on the Powerlist, with women making up almost 50 per cent of the top 100.

Unveiling the Powerlist 2018, publisher Michael Eboda said: “I’m particularly proud that the number of the women on the list has increased so substantially. It goes to show how it is possible if one puts one’s mind to it to increase diversity in any sphere."

For press information: Sarah Duce in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email s.duce@shu.ac.uk