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Outi Leminen nominated Alumna of the Year 2020

The Alumni of the Year award was given to Outi Leminen, nurse, at the Alumni Webinar held on 12 November.

Since 2008, the Alumni of the Year Award has been awarded to a particularly distinguished alumnus or alumna whose activities draw positive attention on the Laurea community and education. This year, the award was given in recognition of the WHO’s International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

The 2020 Alumni of the Year Award was awarded to Outi Leminen, nurse. The selection was based on Leminen’s goal-oriented development of her competence and professional skills and active contribution to alumni activities. Leminen proudly highlights her membership of the Laurea community.

— This nomination is truly remarkable, especially in such an exceptional year. I am genuinely touched and grateful,Leminen comments.

The award was given at the Alumni Webinar on Thursday 12 November by former Laurea President Pentti Rauhala, after whom the award is named.

“What I value the most is the opportunity to develop myself”

Leminen graduated from Laurea in 2013 as a public health nurse. After graduating, she completed a Master’s degree in nursing at the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, XAMK. Leminen fondly looks back on her studies at Laurea and mentions communality as a particularly memorable characteristic of the institution.

— At Laurea, the atmosphere was always very welcoming. I still feel like coming home whenever I visit the campus, she says.

At the outset of her studies, Leminen had a clear vision that she wanted to be a school nurse after graduation. After all, she did not end up applying to public health nursing positions.

— Versatility is probably the term that best describes my career path. I have worked in very different environments from a maternity and child health clinic to a substitution therapy outpatient clinic and an emergency hospital. Self-development and extension of competence motivate me to a great degree. In this line of work, people have to be treated comprehensively instead of focusing on a single illness. Diverse experience is a valuable resource, Leminen says.

At the moment, Leminen works as a nurse at the Cardiac Unit of HUS Haartman Hospital. In addition, she is responsible for organising competence-building trainings for the personnel and supervising student trainees.

Even though the work in emergency services is often hectic and requires constant vigilance, Leminen enjoys her work. What she values the most is the opportunity to develop herself and cooperate with others.

— As a member of a team, you can learn a diverse range of new skills and develop yourself in a multi-professional environment. In an environment such as this, you’re never alone and no one is expected to be able to do everything. Working as a team and the opportunity to consult others are definitely among the best aspects of my job.

Leminen’s tip for students is to aim at acquiring versatile competence rather than getting stuck in a rut at work.

— This applies to all fields of work. Even if you find something of particular interest, it is important to acquire expertise in other topics relating to it. Versatility supports the focus on a single area of specialisation.

An active alumna

Leminen is one of the longest-term developers of Laurea alumni activities and has participated in them since her graduation. She tells that her interest in alumni activities aroused already during her studies.

— I participated very actively in the activities of the Student Union Laureamko throughout my studies. Getting involved in alumni activities was, in a way, a natural way to continue developing the institution.

Leminen is a regular guest lecturer whose lectures are highly appreciated by students. She considers the interaction with students very rewarding.

— With students, I have to challenge my professionalism in another way than in the hospital environment. At the hospital, I look at my work from the perspective of the unit’s needs. For the purposes of a lecture, however, I have to examine my skills more thoroughly and explain them in a way that enables students to understand what they are based on. This way the students can develop their own skills through my experience. I dream of becoming a nursing lecturer in the future, and the Lecturer Database has proven helpful in that respect.

Participation in the development of education as a member of the Alumni Advisory Board is particularly close to Leminen’s heart.

— The programme in nursing is still relatively new and not completely established. I have participated in various forums to reflect on how the studies should be organised and what students want and need from the training. I hope my future colleagues will be confident about their competence and don’t feel an urge to change their occupation.

For Leminen, being a member of the Laurea community stands for a positive attitude towards improvement, innovativeness and the agility to develop and introduce new methods.

— Laurea is proud of what it has achieved. Being a member of the Laurea community is important for me, and it is part of how I define myself. It is an integral part of my identity, and I believe it always will be. Laurea provided me with a good offset for my career, and I hope that I can, in some way, support current and future students at the outset of their careers.