BDA Ibex recipient: Nicki Ruddock

03 Apr 2024

Nicki Ruddock is an advanced Clinical Practitioner in nephrology at the University Hospitals of Leicester. Nicki received an Ibex in 2024 in recognition of her personal commitment and significant contribution as a member of the BDA Renal Nutrition Specialist Group (RNG), and achievements in the field of renal dietetics.

Nicki Ruddock

She has shared her knowledge and experience in renal dietetics through her consistent involvement in the RNG postgraduate and clinical update courses and contributions to the work of the Renal Association.

She is recognised as an expert kidney dietitian and inspirational leader with a special interest in chronic kidney disease metabolic bone disorder, extended role working and non-medical prescribing and technology usage in healthcare.

We asked Nicki about her work and what this honour means to her.

What does it mean to you to receive the Ibex honour?

I am very proud to have been nominated and awarded with an Ibex honour. My achievements have only been possible because of the brilliant colleagues I have worked with over the years, who have encouraged and supported me.

What drove you to become a dietitian in the first place and be where you are today?

If I'm honest, I wanted to become a pharmacist! For various reasons, this didn't happen, but I guess the roles are not too dissimilar - working with people to support their health with food rather than medicines. Ironically, I have been qualified as a supplementary prescriber for just over five years, so medicines management does feature in my career now. I have the best of both worlds. 

Who inspires you?

My manager, Gemma Bircher, who I have worked with for over 30 years, has always been my biggest inspiration. I first met her when she was teaching on the BDA Renal Nutrition Specialist Group course many years ago (I won't say how many!) and thought she was awesome. Not long after, I started working for her and have not looked back. A previous Ibex awardee herself, she has been a brilliant role model, mentor and friend. She is still awesome!

What advice would you give to future dietitians? 

Take every learning opportunity you can and be prepared to step outside your comfort zone.

What has been the highlight of your dietetic career to date?

There are many if I'm honest, but having always had an aspiration to do a PhD. I was really lucky to be awarded a scholarship.

Deciding on a professional doctorate route, I am hoping to submit my thesis about dietitian prescribing later this year. I hope my work can provide some much-needed evidence to support our case for independent prescribing.

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