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Nurse of the Year winners 2023

Congratulations to all our winners and runners up at the 2023 RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards.

RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2023

Vicky Burns

Lead nurse, hysteroscopy and colposcopy 

Northern Health and Social Care Trust

Vicky is the first and only nurse hysteroscopist in Northern Ireland and, in the words of her nominator, is a pioneer and visionary who has championed the development of this service. Out-patient hysteroscopy is a valuable intervention in the diagnosis and treatment of gynaecological conditions. Demand for hysteroscopy services significantly outweighs existing capacity and this gap is predicted to widen due to an ageing population.

The establishment of a nurse-led hysteroscopy service provides improved access to the investigation of abnormal uterine bleeding and supports targets for suspected cancer to be met. It complements the pre-existing medical model in order to enhance service provision.

Vicky negotiated funding to undertake hysteroscopy training at postgraduate certificate level through Bradford University and is now a member of the British Society of Gynaecological Endoscopists. She concurrently completed a postgraduate certificate at the University of Ulster in non-medical prescribing, achieving a merit and a distinction respectively in these programmes. With Vicky’s assistance, the Northern Trust became the first HSC trust to secure recurrent funding for the nurse-led hysteroscopist role, and she has been instrumental in reducing waiting times for hysteroscopy. She has adopted the national evaluation tool, which provides an annual audit of her service, to include qualitative and quantitative data.

Evaluation of the service and the patient experience has been extremely positive. The enhanced hysteroscopy service developed by Vicky exemplifies the ways in which nurses across Northern Ireland are leading the implementation of strategic transformation by radically reforming the way services are designed, with a focus on prevention and early intervention, promoting positive health as well as treating ill-health. Vicky’s nominator praises her unwavering determination, dynamism and positive attitude, whilst the judging panel was impressed with Vicky’s strong motivation to lead and develop a new service that has significantly improved the patient experience and standards of care.




Kathleen Robb Award for outstanding contribution to Nursing: Angela McLernon

Page last updated - 26/06/2023