Always a winner

What makes RCN Nurse of the Year Angela Hall so special?

“She’s an exceptional nurse, who goes way beyond what might be expected of her,” says Kellyanne Kinsella, who nominated Angela in the Innovations in your Specialty category of the annual RCNi Nurse Awards. “She’s so modest. She thinks that everyone works at her kind of level.”

 Angela and Kellyanne

Now Angela’s hard work, transforming services for patients with heart rhythm disorders, has been rewarded with the prestigious Nurse of the Year accolade. 

“She’s always been a winner in my eyes,” says Kellyanne. “Over the years we’ve worked together, I’ve seen how she has grown as a nurse. She just keeps going and has a great drive to do more. She really deserves to be recognised.” 

Based at Jersey General Hospital as an arrhythmia nurse specialist Angela has developed three services to boost the care, experience and safety of patients. The original idea came after attending a national professional conference, where Angela was inspired to look at local services and see how they might be improved. 

Her innovations include persuading colleagues to make the hospital the first UK centre to introduce a drug to treat rapid onset atrial fibrillation, preventing admissions. Other drugs are now offered locally, ensuring that vulnerable patients don’t have the stress of travelling away from the island for further treatment. 

Angela also identified the need for a rapid access clinic to help patients who experience blackouts. Where once they could wait several months to see a cardiologist or neurologist, now they are usually seen within two weeks at the special transient loss of consciousness clinic.

Kellyanne first started working with Angela more than a decade ago in the hospital’s intensive care unit. 

“We worked together for five years, but then went different ways,” she explains.

But after Angela had set up her service from scratch, Kellyanne covered her post during maternity leave. She did such a good job that she was eventually appointed as the hospital’s second arrhythmia nurse specialist, allowing the service to expand further.

“Although it’s the same title, we have slightly different roles,” says Kellyanne. “But we sit next to each other and we work brilliantly together.

“She’s a pleasure to work with and so happy. She is always saying how much she loves what she does, as do I.

“We both feel very lucky as it’s such a great job, where you are encouraged to do more and have new ideas.” 

Her rapport with patients is also remarkable. “You hear her laughing and giggling with them,” says Kellyanne. “She is always available and has amazing compassion.” 

After nominating her for the RCNi awards, Kellyanne thought no more about them, until she discovered her colleague had been shortlisted.

“I’d mentioned it in passing, but then thought I perhaps need to tell her a bit more about it. 

“Even afterwards she didn’t realise what a big deal it was. But she was delighted. Everyone is so proud of her.”

Words by Lynne Pearce. Photos by Gary Grimshaw.

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