A SOUTH Belfast graduate has been named the top nursing and midwifery student in this year’s Queen’s University Winter Graduation list.

Newtownbreda girl Lynsey Elliot will receive her BSc Adult Nursing certificate this Friday at the QUB campus, along with the annual Florence Elliot Prize, named after the famous Belfast nurse whose visionary working practices changed the face of the profession here during the launch of the National Health Service.

The honour is given to the student with the best marks in the nursing field, and 21-year-old Lynsey HAS more than earned it, having spent a part of her course working in medical facilities in Malawi.

A committed Christian, Lynsey told the South Belfast News her faith helped her through her years of study, bringing out the best for her patients suffering from diseases including malaria and Aids.

“Everything there was the most challenging thing I could have done in my career, and will stay with me forever.”

“I was delighted to learn that I would be receiving the Florence Elliot Prize this week, as it’s a great honour for anyone studying nursing,” she said.

“During my three years on the course I worked all over Belfast, including the City and Musgrave Hospitals. Then myself and a friend applied for the overseas placement for eight weeks and set off for Malawi, which was a very eye-opening experience.”

Helping to set up outreach clinics during the wet season there, when potentially fatal malaria rates are at their highest, Lynsey also performed vital ante-natal work for pregnant women, in some cases ensuring HIV was not passed from mother to baby.

“Everything there was the most challenging thing I could have done in my career, and will stay with me forever,” she added.

“I’m now working in a local school, doing one-on-one work with children who require medical assistance, but in the future I plan to go into nursing full-time and possibly go overseas again. I don’t feel alone doing my work, as I believe God is spurring me on to help people.”