A STUDENT nurse from Wirral has finished as runner up in the competition to win a prestigious scholarship award run by a national nursing charity.

Simon Nielson, from Hoylake, had been shortlisted as a candidate for the Outstanding Student Nurse Award in the 2012/13 Cavell Nurses' Trust Scholarship Awards.

He narrowly missed out on the top prize of a travel scholarship worth £1500, but was rewarded with a Sony Vaio laptop as well as a certificate.

Simon was one of 22 candidates shortlisted for the five awards.

Interviews were carried out by a judging panel made up of prestigious and experienced nursing and midwifery individuals on February 8 in London.

He will now be presented with his certificate during an awards ceremony at Fishmongers Hall, London, on March 21.

Simon, 40, used to run his own newsagents and is in the second year of his mental health nursing degree at Liverpool John Moores University.

Cavell Nurses' Trust, set up in memory of World War 1 nurse Edith Cavell following her execution in 1915, launched the Scholarship Awards last year with the aim of recognising exceptional student nurses and midwives in the UK.

The awards are designed to help nursing and midwifery students at the start of their careers and are open to students currently studying nursing or midwifery on undergraduate/postgraduate or diploma courses at universities in the UK.

Judges praised the quality of shortlisted candidates.

Fran Galloway, a senior lecturer in midwifery with more than 30 years clinical midwifery experience, said: "All the candidates were committed to providing excellence in their particular fields of nursing and midwifery.

"However, the winners and runners up stood out through demonstrating a particular commitment to providing care and compassion in the areas in which they are working.

"They have all made a real difference and show the ability to be the leaders of the profession as they move to qualification and registration."

Further information about the Scholarship Awards can be found by visiting the awards website at http://awards.cavellnursestrust.org.uk