Nominate an inspirational nurse for an RCN Fellowship

 Betty Kershaw 24 Jan 2017

The RCN Fellowship recognises nurses who have made a significant contribution to the science and art of nursing.

We all know someone who has made a real difference, so think hard about nominating your inspirational nurse. Having nominated several fellows in the past and sat on the RCN Awards Committee here is my advice for how to write a successful nomination.

F is for focus: Focus on how your inspirational nurse has shared their ideas through nursing networks. For example, I nominated someone two years ago who had been involved in clinical practice and teaching, but what set her apart was the work she had done to support students with dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia. This work has been officially published for others to use beyond her own university. So think about how your nurse has extended their reach through press, events, publications, the RCN forums, RCN regional offices etc.

R is for reinforce: Reinforce the nomination with three supporting statements that demonstrate the nominee's wider influence. Think about who can help you build a picture of your nominee’s unique professional life. My nominee went to great lengths to support Commonwealth students when they came to the UK, by integrating them with local people from their home country and finding their nearest place of worship. Little wonder that the Commonwealth Nurses Federation provided a supporting statement.

C is for care: Emphasise the difference your nominee has made to the patients and relatives they care for. My nominee ensured nurses they worked with understood the social, cultural and spiritual norms of the community. A second supporting statement therefore came from the refugee community who had found her ways of working reassuring.

N is for nursing: This is an award for a nurse so ensure you emphasise the nursing foundation of the nomination. Don't forget social care or volunteering as both can give a wider view of your nominee's uniqueness, but ultimately this is a nomination for a nurse, to be awarded by nurses in recognition of nursing.

It is worth taking the time and effort to make a nomination. The pride of seeing your nominee becoming “FRCN” makes it all worthwhile.

If you need any help in taking that first step, or finalising the nomination, please email me at

RCN Awards 2020

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Betty Kershaw

Betty Kershaw

RCN Fellow

Professor Dame Betty Kershaw was President of the RCN from 1994-1998. She was awarded the RCN Fellowship in 2001. Before retiring she was Dean at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sheffield.

Page last updated - 08/04/2019