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University of Wollongong (UOW) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patricia Davidson, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship to the world’s largest nursing union and professional body, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Each year the RCN, which represents nearly half a million nurses, midwives, carers and students in the UK and internationally, bestows a small number of fellowships that recognise practitioners, researchers and leaders who embody its commitment to advancing the art and science of nursing and improving healthcare.

Peer nominated, the Honorary Fellowship acknowledges Professor Davidson’s experience, achievements and dedication to the nursing profession.

“I am very lucky to have had a far-reaching and varied career, which is a testament to the career versatility that nursing can offer, but above all, I am a nurse,” Professor Davidson said after receiving the honour.

“It is in the hospital that my training began and, many years later, that desire to help others and that passion for medicine has never left.

“Nursing to me is about connecting with people and doing meaningful work. It is the combination of art and science that I love. You need to have a good grasp for the science, but it also has an incredibly important human aspect.”

Professor Davidson, a world-leading researcher and former Dean at the John Hopkins School of Nursing in the US, considers a nursing degree one of the best degrees anyone can get to prepare them for life.

“For an Australian nurse from Wollongong Hospital to become the Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and now the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong goes to show anyone can do anything, if you work hard and surround yourself with people who support and enable you.”