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RCN Nursing Awards 2021 open for entries: who will be named nurse of the year?

Individuals and teams invited to nominate across 15 award categories, with a deadline of 30 April

The UK’s most prestigious nursing awards have opened for entries, with honours including the RCN Nurse of the Year 2021 title.

The RCN Nursing Awards, formerly the RCNi Nurse Awards, invite nurses, students and nursing support workers to share their innovations and expertise and celebrate their contribution to improving care and outcomes for people of all ages and walks of life.

A celebration of how nurses have gone above and beyond

Entries are open to individuals and teams in 14 categories covering the diversity of nursing (see box below).

The Patient’s Choice category, which gives patients an opportunity to nominate a nurse or healthcare assistant who has made a difference to their lives, is decided by public vote.

The RCN Nurse of the Year 2021 will be chosen from the category winners, announced at the awards ceremony in October.

Find out more or submit your entry

Picture of RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair
Dame Donna Kinnair
Picture: Justine Desmond

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: ‘We know that nursing teams have been under huge pressure for more than a year now because of the pandemic and that they are exhausted, but we also know that throughout the UK they have gone above and beyond to sustain and improve care in the most challenging conditions.

‘Sharing innovations in practice to benefit even more people and recognising nursing excellence are what the RCN Nursing Awards are all about, so I would encourage nurses to put themselves forward or nominate a worthy colleague.

‘Let’s shout loud and proud about the outstanding care nursing teams are delivering in every specialty, every day, UK-wide.’

Nursing teams can showcase practice that is making a difference

Picture of chair of the RCN Nursing Awards judging panel Joanne Bosanquet, chief executive of the Foundation for Nursing Studies
Judging panel chair Joanne Bosanquet
Picture: David Gee

Awards judging panel chair Joanne Bosanquet, chief executive of the Foundation of Nursing Studies, said: ‘These prestigious awards are a fantastic way for nursing teams to showcase practice that is making a difference to people’s lives – and often entire communities’ – health and well-being.

‘It has been an incredibly tough year, but in many cases this has driven nurses to further improve the care they give, and this needs to shared and recognised on a national platform.’

The deadline for entries is 30 April. You do not need to be an RCN member to enter and all categories are open to entrants from across the UK.

RCN Nursing Awards 2021 categories

  • Advanced nursing practice – sponsored by the RCN
  • Child health
  • Commitment to carers – sponsored by NHS England
  • Community and GP nursing – sponsored by NHS England
  • Excellence in cancer research nursing – sponsored by Cancer Research UK
  • Innovations in your specialty – sponsored by the NMC
  • Leadership
  • Learning disability nursing
  • Mental health nursing
  • Nursing older people
  • Nursing support worker – sponsored by the RCN
  • Outstanding contribution to infection prevention and control – sponsored by INEOS Hygienics
  • Patient’s choice
  • Student nurse - sponsored by Tork
  • Team of the year – sponsored by LV


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