Ebenezer is a senior lecturer in adult nursing with our School of Nursing and Allied Health. He was recognised by the Royal College of Nursing in 2023 for his work in developing a pathway at LJMU for overseas-trained nurses, who are displaced from their home countries, to obtain registration in the UK and to work for the NHS.
He used his own personal experience of obtaining UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration, to work alongside colleagues at LJMU and from NHS England and NHS Improvement to bring the programme into being. A programme which eventually saw more than 150 refugee nursing students train with LJMU to gain NMC registration and go on to work in one of the 50 NHS trusts that took part in the scheme.
Ebenezer's own journey as a nurse began when he earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana in 2011 before taking on a clinical role at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in October 2012. Driven by his dedication to continuous learning, he pursued further study, obtaining an MA in Health Education in 2015.
In 2019, Ebenezer relocated to the UK to further his nursing career. He joined LJMU as a lecturer in adult nursing in January 2021 and quickly progressed to senior lecturer in adult nursing by August 2022.
“The job of a lecturer involves much more than just teaching; it also involves motivating, guiding, and having a good influence on the lives of countless others. Knowing that through fostering intellectual growth, encouraging critical thinking, and assisting students in achieving academic and professional success, I am assisting in forming the future of my students brings me enormous joy. It is so rewarding to see the students' development and successes.”
– Ebenezer Banahene on what it means to teach at LJMU
It was during this time that LJMU were looking to develop an education pathway for qualified nurses seeking refuge in the UK, to be able to quickly find healthcare roles across the NHS. Both lifechanging for the nurses to be able to put their skills to use again, and for the patients in need of high-quality care.
Ebenezer was involved in the project from the start, sharing his own personal experience as a healthcare professional who earned their qualifications overseas. Working alongside colleagues from the school, supported by charities Refuaid and Talent Beyond Boundaries, and representatives from the NHS, the group developed the four week ‘refresher’ course involving practical exercises in a hospital simulation environment, lots of work on how to communicate with patients and help with the English language. The nurses where then able to quickly get back into hospitals upon completion of the course.
Lorraine Shaw, Subject Head within the School of Nursing and Allied Health, said: “Eben was involved in this project from the very beginning and was able to use his own experiences as an overseas applicant to relate to current learners and their situations. During the meetings it was clear that the team had a shared purpose and were not only supporting the students and NHS workforce, but also embodying the core values of LJMU when it comes to our community; being inclusive, student-focused and courageous with their work.”
Ebenezer's exceptional contribution earned him the prestigious North West award for Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion from the Royal College of Nursing.
Reflecting on what his role at LJMU means to him, Ebenezer said: “I take tremendous pleasure in knowing that by preparing the next generation with the knowledge and abilities required to succeed in the workforce, I am advancing society. It is a noble component that gives me a sense of purpose and fulfilment to help society grow and progress via education.”