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RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year Awards

Our awards are designed to recognise, highlight, and celebrate the dedication and outstanding professional care of nursing staff across Scotland.

From rural communities to the big cities, from the NHS, care homes and others in the independent sector, our winners demonstrate the best of nursing in Scotland – through innovation, excellence in practice, leadership, and commitment.

Read more about the incredible work of our winners which showcases inspiring nursing practice that is making a difference for patients, residents, and service users.

RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year


Our 2024 Scotland Nurse of the Year, Lynsey Russell, received the award in recognition of her clinical leadership, commitment to delivering for her patients and efforts to upskill and inspire the future nursing workforce. 

Described by her colleagues as committed and passionate about intensive care nursing, she is celebrated by them for creating an environment where nursing is consistently valued, recognised, and supported. A nurse of 27 years, Lynsey took on the role of Senior Charge Nurse within the ICU three years ago and has proven to be a positive role model for person centred care. Her courageous and authentic leadership has resulted in multiple positive impacts for those receiving care, as well as their families, and her colleagues. Driving a programme of quality improvement work, Lynsey has taken a ‘what matters to you’ approach with patients, families and colleagues. She believes that to lead you need to be visible and walk in their shoes, develop shared values, and be a voice for the team. Employing multiple change management techniques, Lynsey’s work to improve ICU nursing care within NHS Borders has already been shared and implemented by other Scottish ICUs and will be presented nationally at the upcoming British Association of Critical Care Nurses (BACCN) conference in October 2024. Lynsey’s core values are to be authentic and to excel at what she does. Through leading by example and being a model for others, she hopes to continue to raise nursing standards, raise the nursing voice and show everyone the amazing things nursing is capable of.


Amy Noble

Amy Noble - 2022 RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year

Clinical Nurse Manager, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Described by her colleagues as energetic, inspirational and ‘one of the best nurses I’ve ever worked with’, at the time of nominations, Amy led the respiratory ward at Raigmore Hospital before recently becoming Assistant Divisional Nurse Manager. Amy elevates those around her to do their best and is noted to have 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. Amy led the way in developing a partnership with Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland which meant that readmissions dropped from 20% to 8% benefitting both patients and the ward. Amy meets the challenge of caring across a wide geography head on, liaising directly with GP’s to ensure equality of access. In her new role, Amy newest challenge was 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.

Adult Nursing Award


This award aims to recognise those who have succeeded in raising standards of care for their patients and service users and have made an outstanding contribution to the care of adults. 

Our 2024 winner is:

John McDonald
Senior Addiction Nurse
North East Alcohol and Drug Recovery Service, Glasgow

John, an inspirational figure in addiction services, has significantly contributed to improving and expanding services, particularly in alcohol and opiate replacement treatments. He enthusiastically embraced the introduction of Buvidal, a novel treatment, and played a pivotal role in disseminating information and support to clients, families, and other stakeholders. The number of clients utilising Buvidal has grown substantially under his guidance, with regular clinics now serving over 440 individuals. By advocating for informed decision-making, John has empowered clients to pursue personal growth and development, leading to tangible benefits such as increased employment, education and community integration. Despite initial challenges, interventions like psychosocial support have helped overcome barriers, resulting in clients reporting improvements in various aspects of their lives, including physical and mental health. John's exemplary professionalism and the success of Buvidal has garnered interest from GP surgeries and pharmacies, with potential expansions into shared care services and ongoing pilot programmes.

Amy Noble Amy Noble
Clinical Nurse Manager, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Described by her colleagues as energetic, inspirational and ‘one of the best nurses I’ve ever worked with’, at the time of nominations, Amy led the respiratory ward at Raigmore Hospital before recently becoming Assistant Divisional Nurse Manager. Amy elevates those around her to do their best and is noted to have 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. Amy led the way in developing a partnership with Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland which meant that readmissions dropped from 20% to 8% benefitting both patients and the ward. Amy meets the challenge of caring across a wide geography head on, liaising directly with GP’s to ensure equality of access. In her new role, Amy newest challenge was 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.

Runner Up:

2024 – Margaret Harkin, In-Reach District Nurse, Inverclyde HSCP

2022 – Neil Cree, District Nursing Team Lead, Adult Community Nursing & Treatment Rooms, Greenock Health & Care Centre, Inverclyde HSCP


Highly Commended:

2024 – Sharon Sutherland, Parkinson's Nurse Specialist, NHS Highland - North Highland Area

2022 – N/A 

Care Home Nursing Award


This award aims to recognise the impact and importance of nursing in social care and those who have made an outstanding contribution to care and quality of life for residents in a care home. 

Our 2024 winner is:

Robyn Oliphant
Clinical Lead
Lisden Nursing Home, Balhousie Care Group

Robyn, the Clinical Lead at Lisden Care Home, is nominated for her outstanding dedication and contribution. Robyn's commitment to person-centred care is evident in her empathetic approach and focus on creating a positive environment for residents. She not only excels in clinical care but also demonstrates strong leadership qualities, collaborating with the Balhousie Care Group Operations Team to enhance services and promote staff development. Robyn's positive impact on residents, families and colleagues is recognised, and she maintains a credible evidence base for care provision through continuous improvement and adherence to standards. Additionally, her involvement in local and national policy initiatives showcases her commitment to broader health care strategies. Robyn's contributions are measurable through positive feedback and trust from the community, and her journey from carer to clinical lead serves as an inspiring example for the nursing profession. 

Arlene Fox Arlene Fox
Interim Care Home Manager, Nightingale Care Home, Sterling Care Homes Ltd

Described by her colleagues as a care home manager with a passion for improving the care and services offered to the residents of the Nightingale Care Home. These improvements are clearly evidenced in her nominations for her work on food, fluid and nutrition (FFN). Working with NHS dieticians and being open to learning from nutritional audits, Arlene has completely overhauled food provision, developing the whole team to be upskilled in FFN. Her holistic approach has also seen her develop the environments where food is served, creating innovative calming spaces for residents. Arlene also encourages resident to be part of decisions about menus, encouraging resident to join staff on trips to the shops to buy the food that will be served. Other initiatives introduced by Arlene support physical fitness with adapted spin classes, yoga, and themed activities for events such as Wimbledon. Her nominators note that Arlene has turned this care home around despite the challenges of the pandemic and the wider challenges of recruitment and retention of staff. Arlene is keen to note that her staff work with her and not for her, she is always seen in the same uniform as her team and often assists care. Her staff are supported to contribute to the ongoing improvements within the home. Arlene is keen to raise the profile of holistic care home nursing and the positive outcomes it can achieve.

Runner Up:

2024 – Maxine Kinnoch, Home Manager, Boclair Care Home, Care Concern Group

2022 – Laura MacDonald and Kim Barron, Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Erskine


Highly Commended:

2024 – Ng Pei Shan, Registered Nurse, Camilla House Care Home, Sanctuary Care

2022 – Kamila Rzepka, Staff Nurse, Culduthel Care Home, Meallmore Ltd

Children's Nursing and Midwifery Award


This award aims to recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution to the care of children or young people or the care of mothers-to-be and new parents.

Our 2024 winner is:

Care Experienced Young People's Service (CEYPS)
NHS Tayside

The CEYPS team, based in Dundee, aims to provide care, support and advice to care experienced children and young people up to the age of 26. It involves a team of nurses and midwives working closely with social workers, school nurses, doctors and other services to promote the health and wellbeing of these young individuals. The team provides support for young people living in different settings, improving transition for those leaving care, and offering health input for care planning and accommodation matching. Challenges in implementation were faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to adaptations in communication and working methods. Despite challenges, the team strengthened inter-agency links and received recognition for its work. The team has improved the experiences and health outcomes of young people by providing them with support, access to services, and a sense of safety and trust. Feedback from service users has been positive, encouraging continuous improvement of the service. Plans for dissemination include sharing the model of working with other health boards and raising the profile of the team through events and education sessions.

CYP CN Service Fife Children and Young People Community Nursing Service
NHS Fife

Described by colleagues as a team which goes above and beyond, the central Fife based Children and Young People’s Community Nursing Service support and care for children, and their families, who are diagnosed with complex and severe health conditions. The team also provide palliative support for patients who are unable to access the specialist services of an urban setting. The team prides itself on being a strong voice for the children and families they serve, advocating to ensure they get the same level of care that a child in a big city would receive. One of their innovations included setting up a multi-disciplinary team approach to supporting enteral feeding at home with a one stop clinic to ensure care is joined up and seamless across the specialities. They also developed a ‘near me’ virtual clinic during the pandemic to support their vulnerable patients who could not attend appointments. The team’s goal is to demonstrate the value of good community children’s nursing and to encourage the nurses of the future to join the service and continue the legacy they have created.

Runner Up:

2024 – West of Scotland Mother and Baby Unit, Leverndale Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

2022 – Capella Team, Children's Community Nursing Team, NHS Dumfries & Galloway


Highly Commended:

2024 – Elaine Wilson, Deputy Charge Nurse, Midlothian Immunisation Team, NHS Lothian

2022 – Brenda Kirk, Clinical Nurse Specialist Team Lead Paediatric Disability, Renfrewshire HSCP (Now working as Child Health Manager for West Argyll)

Clinical Leadership Award


This award aims to recognise an exceptional clinical leader who, by inspiring others, has made a significant difference to service delivery and quality of care.

Our 2024 winner is:

Lynsey Russell
Senior Charge Nurse
Critical Care, NHS Borders

Lynsey is nominated due to her exceptional commitment to improving nursing practice and creating a supportive environment in NHS Borders. With over 26 years of experience, primarily in the intensive care unit (ICU), Lynsey has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and a dedication to patient-centred care. She has significantly contributed to transforming the role and culture of nursing in the ICU and beyond by implementing quality improvement initiatives and fostering innovation. Despite limited resources, Lynsey has spearheaded various projects aimed at enhancing patient care and staff wellbeing. Her key achievements include implementing a nurse-led sedation management protocol, successfully advocating for the establishment of a clinical nurse educator (CNE) position in the ICU to ensure the delivery of high-quality care in line with national standards, and introducing a flexible nursing rostering system to address staff shortages and improve staff morale and patient safety. Evaluation of these initiatives has demonstrated their effectiveness through various metrics, including improved patient outcomes, increased staff competency, reduced costs, and positive feedback from staff surveys. Lynsey's work has also been recognised at national conferences and published in relevant journals.

Michelle Dalgarno and Derek Barron

Clinical Leadership Award:

Michelle Dalgarno
Lead Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Kirkintilloch Health and Care Centre, East Dunbartonshire HSCP

Described by her colleagues as kind and courageous, with a background in District Nursing, Michelle completed the ANP pathway and was appointed as a District Nurse Advanced Nurse Practitioner in February 2021, the first post of its kind in her NHS board. Michelle’s commitment to research and evidence defines her leadership style, supporting transformation in her team and across the wider health and care locality team. Leading an anticipatory care planning (ACP) work stream she has introduced ACP champions across DN, Community Rehab, ANPs, Social Work, Care at Home, Care Homes and Older Peoples Mental Health services. Michelle acts as a role model, providing assessor and supervisor roles for DNs and student DNs. Michelle also leads a standardised approach to baseline assessment and clinical handovers which supports the early recognition of deterioration and triage. Michelle has implemented a multi-disciplinary team approach to increasing awareness around frailty, establishing and facilitating weekly MDT meetings. Michelle has also had a significant impact on GPs referrals. The unique contribution of her role is in undertaking a holistic nursing assessment alongside complex clinical assessment, diagnosis, treatment and care planning.


Strategic Leadership Award:

Derek Barron
Director of Care, Erskine

Described by colleagues as an invaluable champion of the role of nursing in care homes, Derek trained as a mental health nurse and worked in various roles across a 39-year career before becoming the Director of Care for Erskine, supporting veterans in Scotland, through three care homes and a Veterans Village. Derek’s passion for transforming nursing care is also evident through his other roles, on advisory and editorial boards and as a trustee for a hospice. Derek defines his leadership style as approachable, not afraid to stand up for what’s right and not afraid of staff who know more than him. Derek’s commitment to ensuring staff within care homes are enabled to develop is demonstrated through his encouragement for, not only his own staff, but also those in other employers, to apply for the Queen's Nurse programme. Within Erskine, he has also enabled the development of Advanced Nurse Practitioner roles – Erskine is the only care home in the UK that directly employs advanced nurse practitioners. Derek’s leadership not only ensures resident’s wellbeing and but also works to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and create a positive working environment for staff.

Runner Up:

2024 – Shona Malone, Interim Operational Manager - Prison Health Care, HMP Low Moss, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

2022 – Linda McAuslan, Lead Nurse Psychological Therapies / APTs Manager, Adult Psychological Therapies Service, NHS Forth Valley


Highly Commended:

2024 – Fiona Hunt, Team Manager Organ Perfusion and Preservation, Edinburgh Transplant Centre, Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, NHS Lothian

2022 – N/A

Inspiring Excellence - Nursing Innovation and Research Award


This award aims to recognise those who have influenced change with a measurable impact on outcomes and/or experience. 

Our 2024 joint winners are:

Dr. Debbie Baldie
Lead Nurse
Research and Development, NHS Grampian

Debbie Baldie is nominated due to her exceptional dedication to nursing research and evidence-based practice. In her role as Lead Nurse for Research and Practice Development at NHS Grampian, she has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and passion, setting a high standard for her colleagues. Debbie actively seeks opportunities for continuous learning and improvement, enriching the nursing team and elevating the status of nursing research. She has spearheaded various initiatives to foster a research culture in the organisation, including establishing journal clubs, mentorship programmes, and partnerships with academic institutions. Debbie's leadership has been instrumental in restarting clinical research after the COVID-19 pandemic and advocating for a national research strategy in Scotland. Her efforts have led to increased research engagement and tangible improvements in patient care. Dr Baldie's exemplary contributions showcase her as a role model and inspiration for the nursing profession.

Professor Juliet MacArthur
Chief Nurse Research & Development - NHS Lothian
Honorary Professor of Practice, Queen's University Belfast

Juliet, in partnership with colleagues, has been instrumental in advancing clinical academic careers and research partnerships in various health care disciplines across Edinburgh and the Lothians. She has demonstrated leadership in project development, particularly focusing on nursing and midwifery candidates in the Lothian Clinical Academic Research Gateway Awards scheme. The scheme aims to build research capacity across clinical teams by providing funding for NHS professionals to participate in research development opportunities. Juliet's efforts have resulted in significant achievements, including a paediatric nurse successfully applying for what she described as her dream role of research nurse at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. The impact of Juliet's work extends beyond the local level, as demonstrated by the adoption of a similar format by the Chief Scientist Office for the nationwide NHS Researcher Development Fellowships scheme. Her colleagues express their gratitude and admiration for Juliet's vision and dedication to supporting clinical academic research partnerships.

Digital Safety and Suicidal Ideation Team Digital Safety Planning for Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideation Team
Airdrie CMHT, Airdrie Health Centre, NHS Lanarkshire

Lisa’s idea for this new service grew from handing a patient a paper form and being told ‘my life is on my phone, I’ll never remember that’. The Digital Safety Plan (DSP) supports patients to use their own mobile devices to store a DSP that they create. The digital version is designed to be customised and personalised by the patient. Innovative uses of music, sensory aids, symbols, photos and pictures means that this service is fully accessible to people of all literacy levels. The DSP creates a collaborative dialogue between clinicians and patients, being trauma informed and recovery focussed. Working with colleagues across NHS Lanarkshire, Lisa used her personal time to drive this innovation forward to a point where the benefit could be presented to senior management. Lisa is proud to see the innovation delivering on both national digital health strategy outcomes and national suicide prevention strategy outcomes. Lisa would like to use the project to highlight the how mush nurses can achieve when they believe in what they do.

Runner Up:

2024 – N/A

2022 – Hazel Somerville and Jennie Young, Gender Based Violence and Sexual Assault Service Lead (Hazel) / Psychological Therapies Team Lead (Jennie), Adult Psychological Therapy Service, NHS Forth Valley


Highly Commended:

2024 – N/A 

2022 – Vivienne Wilson, Senior Research Nurse, Western General Hospital, NHS Lothian

Learning Disability Nursing Award


This award aims to recognise those who have succeeded in raising standards of care for their patients and clients and have made an outstanding contribution to the care of service users.

Our 2024 winner is:

Learning Disability Queen's Nurses
Queen's Nursing Institute for Scotland (QNIS)

The QNIS Think COULD animation project aims to raise awareness about the need for better support for individuals with learning disabilities in the justice system. Funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, the project involved eight learning disabilities nurses from Scotland completing the Queen’s Nurse development programme and creating an evidence-based project focused on adults with learning disabilities and the justice system. The key aims of the project were to co-design and produce an outcome to reduce inequalities, develop an accessible resource for practitioners about learning disabilities and reasonable adjustments, and highlight the unique contribution learning disabilities nurses make in reducing inequalities. The project identified gaps in support for people with learning disabilities in justice services and engaged with stakeholders, including those with lived experience of justice services, to address these gaps. The team developed an animation called Think COULD, emphasising Communication, Observe, Understand, and Learning Disability, as an educational tool. The animation was designed to be accessible, educational, and inclusive, with representation from diverse perspectives. It was launched in May 2023 and has had a significant impact, being embedded in Police Scotland training resources, shared with relevant organisations, and informing policy and practice.

Laura McCann Laura McCann
Community Learning Disability Senior Charge Nurse, Falkirk Learning Disability Team, NHS Forth Valley

Described by her team, in the nicest possible way, as infectious. As soon as Laura joined the Falkirk LD Integrated team she knew this was where she was meant to be. Laura’s nomination centres around a work programme she leads to support people with a learning disability to develop healthy relationships – an ability she says her patients have often been denied. With a strong and confident team behind her, she set about understanding individual needs to tailor the service and ensure it is adaptable to individual needs. She developed an eight-week programme on cyber safety and is currently working with her team and the wider multi-disciplinary team to develop support for those who experience gender based violence – working to embed trauma informed practice and improve the support offered by staff. One of Laura’s key achievements is ensuring that the team can now provide a consistent and equitable service across her locality, which she has achieved by sharing learning, upskilling colleagues and creating avenues for patients to be educated. Laura has ensured all the team’s work is rooted in strong evidence, working with sexual health nursing, local organisations who support gender based violence sufferers, and NHS Scotland to produce guidance for practitioners. Laura is keen to promote LD nursing and is working with universities to support practice placements. Her goal is to eventually go into high schools to promote LD nursing, and nursing in general, as a career choice.

Runner Up:

2024 – CAMHS Intellectual Disability Outpatient Nursing Team, NHS Tayside

2022 – Learning Disability Intensive Support Service, Murray Royal Hospital, NHS Tayside


Highly Commended:

2024 – Strathaird, William Fraser Centre, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, NHS Lothian

2022 – Alan Lawson and Jacqueline Cowan, Learning Disability Liaison Nurse (Job Share), Borders General Hospital, NHS Borders

Learning in Practice Award


This award aims to recognise those who provide effective supervision and assessment, create high-quality learning environments, act as a role model and who build and maintain relationships to enable and support learning and development in the workplace.

Our 2024 winner is:

SANDRA - Supporting Practice Nurses in Diabetes, Revalidation & Appraisal
JJR Macleod Centre for Diabetes, David Anderson Building, NHS Grampian 

The team aimed to develop an education programme, SANDRA (Supporting prActice Nurses in Diabetes, Revalidation and Appraisal), to train practice nurses in delivering diabetes clinics. This was prompted by the departure of experienced practice nurses, leaving a gap in patient care. The programme, led by Sandra Wilson, involved collaboration with diabetes specialist nurses and other health care professionals. The team overcame major challenges including funding, recruitment, and IT issues. Evaluation showed significant improvements in practice nurse confidence and skills, leading to better patient outcomes and reduced reliance on GP appointments. Plans for dissemination include sharing with colleagues nationally, accrediting the programme, and supporting other health boards. The initiative received commendation at the Quality in Care Diabetes programme.

Cathy Cook Cathy Cook
Team Leader, Complex Care Team, Community Nursing Adult Services, NHS Tayside

Described by colleagues as inspirational, Cath designed, developed and established a community based service to deliver leg ulcer, wound, and catheter care to the people of Dundee. Starting with a clear plan, she began by networking with local GPs and Practice Managers to identify the best locations for services and the staff who could deliver the service. With the GMS contract as a basis for her work, she developed business plans using her own knowledge and research of the local community and their health needs. With person centred care at its heart, this first of its kind project in Scotland has become a national gold standard and Cath has showcased it to both national and European health improvement conference delegates. She has also inspired and empowered the nursing staff who deliver the service by ensuring protected learning time which assured them their learning was being prioritised and valued. Cath sees her role not only to run the service but also to motivate and inspire the team to do its best and maintain their own wellbeing. With the team behind her, they have increased capacity and ultimately reduced readmission to hospital. With Cath shortly about to retire, her colleagues speak of her service as the positive legacy she will pass on to the future nurses of Dundee.

Runner Up:

2024 – Yasmin Murray, Deputy Charge Nurse, MHDU, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

2022 – Care When It Counts Team (CWIC), Musselburgh Primary Care Centre, NHS Lothian


Highly Commended:

2024 – NHSGGC Practice Education, West Glasgow ACH and West House Gartnavel Royal Hospital

2022 – Senior Nurses - Mental Health, Cunninghame House, NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Mental Health Nursing Award


This award aims to recognise those who have succeeded in raising standards of care for their patients and clients and have made an outstanding contribution to the care of service users.

Our 2024 winner is:

Frances Aitken
Lead Dementia Nurse for Stress and Distress
St John's Hospital, Livingston, NHS Lothian

Frances works to improve the care experience for patients with cognitive decline in St John’s Hospital's acute setting by reducing stress and distress, emergency psychiatric interventions and over-medication with sedatives. Frances led the implementation of the Stress and Distress programme. Overcoming challenges including staff understanding of cognitive conditions, she ran awareness-raising and training. Evaluation showed positive outcomes, including reduced need for one-to-one nursing, sedation and emergency calls, along with improved pain management and decreased complaints. Frances’ work has enhanced patient experience, increased partnership with families and improved staff knowledge. Frances led workshops and presentations to share the programme’s success, leading to its adoption in other settings.

Melissa Rowlands Melissa Rowlands
Dementia ANP, Psychiatry of the Older Adult, St Johns Hospital, NHS Lothian

Described by colleagues as a committed advance nurse practitioner (ANP), Melissa developed the role of the ANP in dementia care to enhance patient care and reduce referral to diagnosis. She developed a service which sought to prevent admission and reduce readmission to hospital for people with dementia in care homes. By developing nurse led clinics, Melissa supports West Lothian’s contribution to national HEAT targets by reducing waiting times for diagnosis. She adopts a flexible approach to ensure that the service works across older people’s health services as well as supporting other agencies. Adopting a home first model of care, Melissa strives to deliver as much care at home – providing a complex supported discharge service. Within a year, the waiting times in her area had halved, allowing the post diagnostic support teams to engage faster with patients. Melissa’s approach is already being shared across Scotland and she is now supporting ANPs in other areas to implement her initiative. Melissa is keen to demonstrate to senior management what nursing staff can do when given scope to be innovative in their care delivery.

Runner Up:

2024 – Susan Holland, Nurse Consultant-Dementia, AND Mental Health Services, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

2022 – Natalie McLelland, Link Nurse Therapist, Tier 4 Complex Trauma Pathway, Specialist Children's Services, West Glasgow Ambulatory Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde


Highly Commended:

2024 – Pauline Zvimba, Senior Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Auchinlea CMHT, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

2022 – Linda Doonan, Nurse Team Leader, Primary Care Alcohol Nurse Outreach Service (PCANOS), Glasgow Alcohol & Drug Recovery Service, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

People's Choice Award


Patients, clients, residents or relatives can nominate a nurse, midwife or nursing support worker who they believe has made a difference and gone that extra mile to ensure the highest standards of care.

Our 2024 winner is:

Denise Harrison
Practice Nurse
Brechin Health Centre, NHS Tayside

Denise has been nominated for her exceptional dedication during floods in Brechin. Despite her own responsibilities at home, including caring for her three sons after her husband's passing, Denise worked tirelessly to provide medical care to displaced patients, even on her days off. She assisted patients who had to evacuate their homes, provided care in hotels, and organised support services such as laundering clothes and setting up a bereavement cafe for those struggling with loss. Denise's empathy and commitment to her patients have earned her praise from both colleagues and those she cares for, making her a truly remarkable nurse.

Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce
Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, NHS Lothian

Edinburgh oncology nurse Fiona Bruce, works at the city’s Royal Hospital for Children and Young People while volunteering to give vital care to young cancer patients in Ghana. Along with Edinburgh oncologist Dr Emma Johnson, and other nursing colleagues, they have helped Ghanian child cancer medics set up what has become a leading children’s unit in Africa. The Edinburgh team are part of a global link of child oncology medics who work through UK charity World Child Cancer. Since twinning with Edinburgh’s children’s hospital Ghana now has seven hospitals giving childhood cancer treatment and care and five paediatric oncology doctors for the 1,300 children expected to develop cancer there annually. 11 years ago children’s cancer treatment was being given by a retired nurse in her 80s who drove an old bus a radius of 100 miles around the capital and thanks to Fiona and the rest of the Edinburgh team and their equally dedicated colleagues in Accra, they now have the gold standard child cancer treatment in West Africa and are training colleagues in other African countries.

Runner Up:

2024 – Jillian Shedden, Macmillan Head and Neck Clinical Nurse Specialist, Oral and Maxillofacial/Ear, Nose and Throat Department, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital,  NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

2022 – Judith Watson, Neonatal Practitioner (Now working as Diana Children’s Nurse, South East of Scotland), Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, NHS Lothian


Highly Commended:

2024 – Derek Jolly, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Children's Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) and Margaret Reeves, Surgical Neonatal Liaison Nurse, Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow

2022 – Henrietta Marriott, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, NHS Highland Integrated Staff Bank, BASICS Responder (BSN124)

Nursing Student of the Year


This award aims to recognise those who have shown exceptional promise during their professional education and/or practice placement. Nominees for this award will deserve recognition for exceptional achievement during their studies.

Our 2024 winner is:

Chloe Jackson
Former Nursing Student
Robert Gordon University

Throughout her studies, Chole aimed to support her nursing student colleagues and the future nursing workforce through various platforms such as a nursing podcast, a nursing blog, and a new project called SUNN (Support and Understanding for Neurodivergent Nurses). A neurodivergent student nurse herself, Chloe challenged discrimination and misunderstanding faced by neurodivergent nurses in practice, founding SUNN to provide support and understanding for neurodivergent nurses. The initiative aims to improve the nursing profession by creating a more inclusive environment and enhancing patient care. She plans to disseminate her initiative through her podcast and blog, aiming to bring about meaningful change in the nursing profession. Her nominators credit the support she provided in helping them to overcome many challenges with their learning and wellbeing.

Lois Gaffney Lois Gaffney
Former Student (Now working as Staff Nurse), The Open University

Described by her practice assessor as an inspirational role model, Lois studies nursing on her home island of Shetland through the Open University. She was inspired to become a nurse after working as a health care support worker. Showing initiative from the outset, when her assessor suggested learning atrial fibrillation on her next shift, she turned up having prepared a research piece detailing not only the workings and electrical activity of the heart but how to read an ECG. She was nominated for the Student Leadership Programme run by the Council of Deans, and now regularly supports other students virtually to change mind sets from ‘What if I fall?’ to ‘What if I fly?’. With a keen interest in neurology and recognising the limitations of opportunities on a small island, Lois applied for funding to travel to Glasgow for a placement and has already brought back her learning to her rural setting. Lois joined her NHS board Chief Executive to present a livestream on student nursing in remote and rural areas to encourage others to take up nursing as a career and has been supporting colleagues through her role on the Nurse Workforce Wellbeing Group of NES. Her aim is to connect students and create support hubs which look after both academic and emotional needs. Back on the ward, Lois is championing patient movement to reduce lengthy hospital stays and also recently produced a toolkit on respiratory care which is already being applauded as a valuable teaching resource for the whole team.

Runner Up:

2024 – Kasey Saunders, Nursing Student (Mental Health), The Open University

2022 – Georgie McLachlan, Former Student (Now working as Community Psychiatric Nurse), Stirling University


Highly Commended:

2024 – Saving Lives UoE Team, University of Edinburgh

2022 – Samuel Thomas, Former Student (Now working as OOH Community Nurse), University of the Highlands and Islands

Nursing Support Worker of the Year


This award aims to recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution to the care of patients or residents in their nursing support worker role.

Our 2024 winner is:

Angela Brown
Care Assistant
Braemount Nursing Care Home, Paisley, Advinia Health Care

Angela is a highly dedicated and hardworking care support worker with 28 years of experience. Known for her kindness, enthusiasm and commitment, Angela consistently advocates for the individual needs of the residents in her care. She is well-liked and respected by both residents and peers for her compassionate approach. Angela demonstrates adaptability, efficiency, and thoroughness in her work, completing tasks with excellence and on schedule. She is currently leading a successful project called ‘Strength and Balance’ aimed at improving residents' health in care homes, showing remarkable dedication by working extra hours and adjusting her schedule. Despite challenges, Angela's unwavering commitment has ensured the project's continuation and positive outcomes, earning praise from residents and families. Additionally, Angela is recognised for her efforts in fundraising and enhancing residents' quality of life through various initiatives, including personalised Christmas decorations and encouragement for the team. Overall, Angela is highly recommended for her inspirational leadership, drive, and active involvement in her work.

Janet Wilson Janet Wilson
Nursing Assistant, Lochview Hospital, NHS Forth Valley

Described by colleagues as a dedicated and professional nursing support worker, for 20 years Janet has worked in the learning disability service of Loch View Hospital, and her senior charge nurse says she is an integral part of the service – leading the way with care and compassion. Always advocating for those under her care, Janet strives to ensure they are recognised as people and not medical or physical conditions. She has played an important part in developing a bespoke approach to care for an individual with autism who requires seclusion due to challenging behaviour. She has developed and incorporated daily contact for him, a long process due to the individual's diagnosis and his challenges to engage with others. Janet is also described as a supportive presence on site, not only for her patients but also for family carers and her colleagues. As well as her support for direct patient care, Janet has played an integral role in maintaining a safe environment in line with local and national policy. Janet is a champion of the control book, completing environmental audits, risk assessments and infection control audits such as hand hygiene. She consistently supports and encourages staff to take an active role in these important tasks to maintain safety for both patients, visitors and her colleagues.

Runner Up:

2024 – David Mclaughlin, HCSW Education and Development Lead, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

2022 – Stuart Wilson, Care Home Collaborative Support Worker, Care Home Collaborative, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde


Highly Commended:

2024 – Gemma Walker, HCSW Associate Practice Educator, Practice Development Team, NHS Tayside

2022 – Alison O'Neill, iCAMHS Healthcare Support Worker / Nursing Assistant, Stirling Community Hospital, NHS Forth Valley

Nursing Team of the Year


This award aims to recognise that great nursing is often delivered in teams and in close partnership with multidisciplinary colleagues – or even patients or stakeholders.

Our 2024 winner is:

Police Custody Healthcare Team
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Based at Govan Police Station

Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership - Adult Services - Police Custody Health Care
The team works as part of a collaborative effort between Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and Police Scotland to provide trauma-informed, person-centred health care for individuals brought to police custody. The team’s primary focus is identifying individuals in mental health distress, diverting them from the criminal justice system into mental health settings, reducing health inequalities, and promoting health improvement. The team aims to achieve these goals by supporting a trauma-informed approach, listening to patients' needs and facilitating referrals to relevant services. The pathway is nurse-led and involves collaboration with various stakeholders including Police Scotland, higher education establishments and criminal justice colleagues. Recent developments include the implementation of quality assurance measures, support for student nurses and ongoing review of roles and responsibilities in the team. Nursing staff are supported in building knowledge of relevant policies and procedures and are encouraged to engage in supervision and professional development activities.

ADRS Crisis Outreach Service - Glasgow City ADRS Crisis Outreach Service
Glasgow City, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Established in 2021, the ADRS Crisis Outreach Service in Glasgow City aims to reduce the increasing number of nonfatal overdoses and drug related deaths. With 12 nursing staff from across Addiction, Mental Health and Acute Adult nursing the team delivers a committed and understanding service for its patients. Tackling health inequalities, financial deprivation and stigmatisation, the team has developed a creative approach to engage this vulnerable and high-risk population through a focussed outreach approach across Glasgow city centre and its localities. In addition to supporting patients the team have provided practical and educational input with families, carers and a wide variety of support service staff to raise awareness and highlight the impact of alcohol and substance use on a person’s physical health, mental health and wider social networks. These interventions include training on recognising and managing a drug overdose, provision of naloxone including training on its use, access to recovery or support services across the city. The team’s inclusive approach has opened up opportunities to link in with a range of services to engage persons known and unknown to treatment services who have been identified as high risk or in alcohol or substance use crisis.

Runner Up:

2024 – Scottish Adult Congenital Cardiac Service, Golden Jubilee University National Hospital

2022 – Unit 5, Falkirk Community Hospital, NHS Forth Valley


Highly Commended:

2024 – Ward 4 (Specialist Dementia Unit) Nursing Team, Forth Valley Royal Hospital

2022 – Intensive and Unscheduled Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Team, West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Outstanding / Lifetime Achievement Award


This award celebrates a significant contribution to the development of nursing as a profession that is valued by society.

Our 2024 winner is:

Professor Lis Neubeck
Head of the Centre for Cardiovascular Health
Edinburgh Napier University

Working as Head of the Centre for Cardiovascular Health at Edinburgh Napier University, Professor Lis Neubeck's tireless dedication and passion for nursing innovation and research have revolutionised health care delivery, particularly in the realm of spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) in Scotland. Through her innovative strategies and commitment to person-centred care, she has significantly improved patient experiences and outcomes. Professor Neubeck's work began with identifying challenges in accessing specialist care for SCAD patients, leading to her research and eventual establishment of a SCAD clinic in Scotland. Her collaboration with colleagues and outreach to specialists in different fields, like menopause specialists, showcases her holistic approach to health care. Furthermore, her rigorous research methods have not only advanced the understanding of SCAD but also informed policy development, shaping the future of health care in Scotland. Through all of this, Professor Neubeck continues to inspire her colleagues and positively impact health care policies and practices.

Our award ceremonies

Our 2024 and 2022 awards ceremonies both took place in the the breath-taking Grand Gallery in the National Museum of Scotland—Edinburgh’s landmark museum that tells our nation’s history from earliest time to present day.

 With its soaring pillars and high windows, the light-filled atrium of the Grand Gallery is one of Scotland’s most beautiful spaces. 

Watch our highlights reels from both events below.


Page last updated - 11/06/2024