As a judge, I learn such a lot about the challenges and developments in so many different fields of nursing. I have never failed to be impressed and encouraged by the efforts and achievements of nursing staff to make the health care experience for patients, safer, better and more efficient.
The spread of nominees from across the UK and across categories is variable. It is fantastic that some managers appear to actively support their staff in developing ideas and putting them forward for recognition. It is a great way to boost morale and encourage innovation as well as facilitate care improvements. It reflects well on the whole service, sometimes attracting more practical or monetary support for further development, so it is a win-win situation.
There is such a lot of good work being done every day by nurses, who don’t think they are doing anything special. Individuals might be reticent to put themselves forward so I would encourage anyone who is aware of a colleague or a member of staff who is making a difference, even in a small way, to nominate them or encourage them to nominate themselves for a relevant category.
I would also encourage anyone thinking of nominating to seek help in submitting the application to make sure the key points are clear and convincing. Even talking it through with someone who is not afraid to question the motives and processes will often help them to appreciate just what they have achieved.
As a Scot, I would love to see more nominations from Scotland, where I know there are many individuals and teams trying to address issues, enhance practice and improve systems for the benefit of patients. As will be the case in other areas in the UK, I think perhaps that some nurses fear that colleagues will think they are undeserving or have ‘ideas above their station’. However, there is a real benefit in sharing their ideas and experiences so that others can learn from them.
It is not a time to be shy!
Margaret Sneddon, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, has been on the RCNi awards judging panel since 2017. Look out for Margaret’s next blog coming soon on what the RCNi awards judges are looking for in nominations.
RCNi awards 2020 nominations are now open - the closing date for entries is 17 January 2020.