Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland said: “The aim of the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards is to highlight the contribution that nurses make to patient care and the developments and innovations they are leading to improve it.
“Over the past 21 years we have seen outstanding examples of nurses developing services for patients that make a real difference to improving the health of people in Northern Ireland.
“Nurses work extremely hard to provide a high level of care to patients, often in pressurised environments, and play a leading role in developing our health services. Health care provision is undergoing continuous change and it is crucial that we show our appreciation and recognise and reward excellence in nursing.
“The awards are also an important opportunity for the public to show how much they value the care they receive. Any member of the public can nominate a nurse or health care assistant they feel has made a special contribution to their care, or to the care of a friend or family member, for the Patient’s Choice Award.
“I would encourage all health care staff to look at the categories and consider nominating a colleague. Nurses deserve to be recognised for the invaluable contribution they make to our health and social care service.”
Application forms for all categories are available from the RCN by telephoning 028 90 384 600 or can be downloaded online www.rcn.org.uk/northernireland/get-involved/awards. The closing date for entries is 10 February 2017.
The RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award seeks to recognise professional excellence, innovation and leadership within nursing and is open to all registered nurses and midwives working in all health care sectors in Northern Ireland. Candidates are required to demonstrate that they led changes in practice that have had a demonstrable benefit for patient care.
The Learning in Practice Award, supported by the Open University, is open to all registered nurses working in health and social care in Northern Ireland who have provided support for learning and development to a health care assistant, nursing student or registered nurse. Candidates will be required to demonstrate how they have provided support for learning and development and gone beyond the expectations of the learner or learners they have supported.
The Team Manager Award, supported by Liverpool Victoria, is open to all nursing and midwifery team managers currently working in all health care sectors in Northern Ireland who succeed in raising standards of care for their patients and clients. Nominations are invited from fellow health and social care professionals.
The Inspiring Excellence Award for mental health and learning disability, supported by Inspire, is open to all registered nurses working in mental health or learning disability setting in Northern Ireland who have demonstrated that they have improved the quality of life of service-users in either a mental health or learning disability setting.
The Student Award, supported by the Queen’s University of Belfast, is open to all pre-registration nursing students in Northern Ireland. The award aims to recognise and reward excellence in professional education.
The Nursing Research Award, supported by Ulster University, is open to registered nurses and midwives working in all health care sectors in Northern Ireland and aims to recognise and reward quality and excellence in nursing research. Candidates can nominate themselves or can be nominated by a colleague or their research supervisor.
The Practice Nurse Award, supported by the Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency, is open to registered nurses working in general practice who have improved services or care for patients or clients.
The Cancer Nurse Award, supported by Cancer Focus and Macmillan Cancer Support is open to registered nurses working in cancer care in Northern Ireland and will recognise a person-centred cancer nurse who constantly strives to improve patient experience and outcomes in everyday practice.
The Chief Nursing Officer’s Award recognises leadership for safety, quality and experience and is open to all registered nurses or midwives working in Northern Ireland.
The Brownlee-Silverdale Leadership Award, supported by Silverdale Care Home and Roberta Brownlee, is open to registered nurses working in a leadership role in health and social care or the independent sector in Northern Ireland and will recognise good leadership of nursing staff that has led to improved services for patients and clients.
The Learning Disability Award, supported by Craegmoor, is open to registered nurses who can demonstrate their contribution in ensuring an improved quality of life for children and young people, adults or older people with a learning disability.
The Outstanding Achievement Award, supported by NIPEC, will be awarded to a nurse who has made an outstanding contribution to nursing in Northern Ireland.
The Health Care Support Worker Award is open to any health care assistant or nursing auxiliary who works as part of the nursing team and has demonstrated commitment to high standards of patient care.
The Defence Nursing Reservist Award is open to registered nurses serving as a reservist in the Defence Medical Services in Northern Ireland.