Student’s hard-hitting play impresses judges


A gritty play written by a student and performed as a teaching aid has led to Edinburgh Napier being nominated twice in the prestigious Student Nursing Times Awards 2020.

Trisha Jeram has been shortlisted for ‘Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year for her work creating the play, ‘Cracks’.

The play tells the story of Bob and Debbie, whose lives gradually interweave to show stark differences in health outcomes due to unequal access to health and social care services.

Written and directed by Trisha, a third year Masters in Nursing student, Cracks stars a volunteer cast of amateur actors including nursing students, community actors and staff from the School of Health & Social Care.

Student nurse actor Siobhan Bourke said: “Trisha is a huge inspiration and an amazing person all round. If you bring your idea to the right people, in this case the lecturers at Edinburgh Napier University, it can reach its potential.”


Film studies students from Edinburgh Napier’s School of Arts & Creative Industries produced a film of Cracks, which is now part of an undergraduate nursing course on health and social care integration.

It is for this use of drama in nursing education that a team of School of Health & Social Care staff including Catherine Mahoney, Fiona Bastow, Bruce Harper-McDonald, and Richard Kyle were shortlisted in a second category – ‘Teaching Innovation of the Year’.

Using drama has helped students to understand the complexity and reality of health and social care integration.  On-going research led by the Cracks team is evaluating the impact that using drama has on students’ learning.

Speaking of the impact of drama in the classroom, student nurse actor Nicola Jamieson said: “Cracks has been really good at generating discussion. Interagency working and integration don’t sound like the most interesting topics but the film has given them a human face through Debbie and Bob.”

Image provided by Edinburgh Napier University: Trisha Jeram

Cracks was performed live at the Summerhall in Edinburgh to a public audience in June 2019 using a novel combination of live action and recorded footage from the film.

Professor Alyson Tobin, Vice Principal of Learning and Teaching at Edinburgh Napier, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Trisha and colleagues in the School of Health & Social Care have been shortlisted for these prestigious awards.

“It recognizes the talent and creativity of our students and staff, and just shows what can happen when we work together to push boundaries to create innovative teaching and learning approaches.

“Trisha’s nomination will inspire others to pursue their own passions to support student learning.  I wish her and my colleagues in the School every success on awards night.”

Winners of the Student Nursing Times Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane on Friday 24 April.