To get to the final stages it needs to be clear what has been done and the difference this has or will make. Nominees need to be able to demonstrate that they have ‘gone the extra mile’ in making a positive difference to patient experience. A nominee who has identified an issue, explored it and implemented a solution, is more likely to succeed than someone employed specifically to implement a similar initiative or who was implementing something as part of a research project. The impact of an innovation is also an important factor for the judges - the degree of difference realised has to be explicit.
Passion, determination and commitment are key characteristics – the judges are looking for nominees who have an abundance of all three.
Previous winners have all overcome the often many challenges and barriers to change that have been in their way and the judges want to know exactly what each crop of nominees has had to do effect the change. Additionally, we want to see evidence of an ongoing commitment to ensure that any improvement will be sustainable and implemented more widely.
Ideas and initiatives don’t need to be big or complex. It is really exciting to be presented with a simple but novel idea that could have a significant impact if shared with other nurses and adopted more widely.
Ultimately, the great determination and resilience of nominees to pursue their goal will win through. When they come into the interviews with judges, some appear surprised to be there, still not sure what they have achieved is good enough, but the reason they are there is because of their strong belief that the change needed to happen. Corny and cliched as it may sound, all our nominees and the people they so passionately care for are winners. In 2020 it could be you.
Margaret Sneddon, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, has been on the RCNi awards judging panel since 2017.
Nominations for the RCNi awards 2020 are open - get your nomination in before the closing date of Friday 17 January 2020