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Honorary doctorate for top military nurse

A leading military nurse has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University (BCU) for “outstanding contribution to public and professional life”.

Qualifying as a nurse in 1991, Fin Bradley started her nursing career in the NHS before being inspired to join the Royal Air Force (RAF).

“Having a career in the armed forces is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle choice”

Fin Bradley

Her military roles have included prestigious titles such as matron in chief of the Princess Mary’s RAF nursing service, honorary nurse to the late Queen and chief nurse to the armed forces.

She currently holds the title of air commodore and she works as head of the Defence Medical Services Regulator (DMSR) – the healthcare regulator for the military.

BCU is connected to military healthcare because it hosts the Defence School for Healthcare Education, at which Ms Bradley has held many visits and engagements over the years.

Air commodore Fin Bradley in her RAF uniform

Fin Bradley

Ms Bradley said: “Thank you to all BCU colleagues for the part you play in the crucial capability of our armed forces.

“I hope that this tremendous accolade from BCU might help to highlight and inspire the next generation to think of all that is possible for them, too.”

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Ms Bradley was also recognised in the 2022 New Year Honours for her RAF service.

Reflecting on her career, Ms Bradley said being a clinician was “the most tremendous privilege” and that being one in the armed forces meant she had learned a lot about herself and the world.

“Having a career in the armed forces is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle choice,” said Ms Bradley.

“I served in Iraq three times, during periods of intense conflict, and nursed some very seriously injured soldiers during that time.

“I saw some remarkable acts of bravery. I was also on duty when Saddam Hussein was arrested and – as a prisoner – first became a patient.”

She added: “As a clinician in the armed forces, there is the opportunity not just to witness history in the making, but to play your part in shaping it, to make a difference today and for the future.

“There were times when I might not have wished to deploy or be posted away from home, but I think I made the best of those opportunities.

“In challenging circumstances, I also learned a lot about myself and the world around me.”

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