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Inspirational nurse who transformed respiratory care named RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year

22 Jun 2023

An inspirational nurse who transformed care on the respiratory ward at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness has been named RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year.

Amy Noble

Amy Noble received the award at a glittering ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh yesterday (Wednesday 21 June) in recognition of her clinical leadership, commitment to delivering for her patients and efforts to inspire the future nursing workforce. 

Described by her colleagues as energetic, inspirational and ‘one of the best nurses I’ve ever worked with’, at the time of nomination, Amy led the respiratory ward at Raigmore Hospital before recently becoming Assistant Divisional Nurse Manager.

Passionate about nursing, Amy elevates those around her to do their best and has been instrumental in the development of the future nursing workforce in NHS Highland. She prides herself on leading by example, setting evidence-based standards to ensure care is driven by what matters to the patient and their families.

Developing a partnership with Chest, Heart, and Stroke Scotland, Amy transformed respiratory care resulting in readmissions dropping from 20% to 8% - benefiting both patients and the ward team. Amy met the challenge of caring across a wide geography head on, liaising directly with GPs to ensure equality of access. 

In her new role, Amy newest challenge is developing an infectious disease specialist team, appointing and nurturing staff to do what’s best for patients. With attracting people to the profession difficult in the current climate, Amy is determined to inspire new students and to encourage people to return to nursing.

Scotland’s nurse of the year was selected from the registered nurse winners of the other categories announced on the night. Amy received the Adult Nursing Award before being announced as the overall Nurse of the Year Award.

District Nursing team Lead, Neil Cree, from Greenock Health and Care Centre was runner up in the Adult Nursing Award. 

Amy was presented with the award by the RCN’s General Secretary & Chief Executive, Pat Cullen, RCN Scotland Board Chair, Julie Lamberth and RCN Scotland Director, Colin Poolman.

Pat Cullen said: “Amy’s clinical leadership and focus on developing the staff in her team make her the perfect choice for our first RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year. We have showcased the amazing work that nursing staff at all stages of their careers are doing across Scotland. There couldn’t be a better reminder of why nursing is such a diverse and rewarding career. I would like to congratulate again all winners, runners up and highly commended. You are all an inspiration.”

RCN Scotland Director, Colin Poolman thanked all the nominees for the nursing care they and their colleagues deliver day in and day out to the people of Scotland, often in extremely challenging circumstances. He said: “Huge congratulations to Amy on her well-deserved award. She has truly succeeded in raising the standards of care for her patients. The judges were inspired by her passion, dedication, and outstanding contribution, evident in the numerous nominations we received from nursing and other colleagues. Amy’s nominations stood out as exemplifying the very best of nursing in Scotland and we are proud to call Amy our Nurse of the Year”.

Julie Lamberth, Scotland Board Chair added: “As a dedicated and passionate nurse Amy is truly inspiring.  It was clear from the sheer number of nominations Amy received how highly she is thought of and the difference she makes.  

“Our inaugural awards have showcased the best of nursing and we are looking forward to building on the success of this year’s event. Nursing touches all of us at various points in our lives, the commitment, dedication and passion shared by all our finalists shows that, no matter how challenging the working conditions, nurses and nursing support workers are focused on doing their best for those they care for.” 

On winning the title, Amy said: “I feel massively proud and really inspired to keep working to do a good job for both my colleagues and our patient in the Highlands. This award is not just for me. It’s for the team, in the respiratory ward and across NHS Highland, who work so hard to ensure patients receive the best care.”

The full list of winners and finalists are:


Adult Nursing Award Amy Noble (NHS Highland) - winner
Neil Cree (Inverclyde HSCP) – runner up
Care Home Nursing Award Arlene Fox (Sterling Care Homes) - winner
Laura MacDonald and Kim Barron (Erskine) – runner up
Kamila Rzepka (Culdathel Care Home) – highly commended
Children’s Nursing & Midwifery Award Children and Young People Community Nursing Service (NHS Fife) – winner
Capella Team (NHS Dumfries & Galloway) – runner up
Brenda Kirk (Renfrewshire HSCP) – highly commended
Inspiring Excellence - Nursing Innovation and Research Award Digital Safety Planning for Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideation Team (NHS Lanarkshire) - winner
Hazel Somerville and Jennie Young (NHS Forth Valley) – runner up
Vivienne Wilson (NHS Lothian) – highly commended
Clinical Leadership Award  Michelle Dalgarno (East Dunbartonshire HSCP) - winner
Linda McAuslan (NHS Forth Valley) – runner up
Strategic Leadership Award Derek Barron (Erskine) - winner
Learning Disability Nursing Award Laura McCann (NHS Forth Valley) - winner
Learning Disability Intensive Support Service (NHS Tayside) – runner up
Alan Lawson and Jacqueline Cowan (NHS Borders) – highly commended
Learning In Practice Award Cathy Cook (NHS Tayside) - winner
Care When It Counts Team (NHS Lothian) – runner up
Senior Nurses - Mental Health (NHS Ayrshire & Arran) – highly commended
Mental Health Nursing Award Melissa Rowlands (NHS Lothian) - winner
Natalie McLelland (NHS GG&C) – runner up
Linda Doonan (NHS GG&C) – highly commended
People's Choice Fiona Bruce (NHS Lothian) – winner
Judith Watson (NHS Lothian) – runner up
Henrietta Marriott (NHS Highland) – highly commended
Nursing Student of the Year Award Lois Gaffney (The Open University) - winner
Georgie McLachlan (Stirling University) – runner up
Samuel Thomas (University of Highlands and Islands) – highly commended
Nursing Support Worker of the Year Award Janet Wilson (NHS Forth Valley) - winner
Stuart Wilson (NHS GG&C) – runner up
Alison O’Neill (NHS Forth Valley) – highly commended
Nursing Team of the Year Award ADRS Crisis Outreach Service (NHS GG&C) - winner
Unit 5, Falkirk Community Hospital (NHS Forth Valley) – runner up
Public Protection Service (NHS GG&C) – highly commended
Unscheduled / Intensive Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (NHS GG&C) – highly commended

Thanks to all of our sponsors of our awards. With their support, we were able to go all out and truly celebrate all of our finalists and their contribution to the health and care of the people of Scotland.

Page last updated - 24/11/2023