Could it be you? Entries now open for the RCNi Nurse Awards 2020

Nominate yourself or a colleague for these prestigious nursing awards in 2020, the year of the nurse and midwife

Nominate yourself or a colleague for these prestigious nursing awards and you could be RCN Nurse of the Year in 2020, the year of the nurse and midwife

Nurse Awards

  • Entering or nominating a colleague for the RCNi Nurse Awards 2020 can help boost your specialty and career development
  • 2019’s winner in the Nursing Older People category now has a platform to influence care
  • The RCN Nurse of the Year 2020 will be chosen from the category winners
Picture of Gary Bell, Lindsay Rees and Kate Garraway
Winner of the 2019 RCNi Nurse Award in the Nursing older people category Lindsay Rees (centre)
with RCNi editorial director Gary Bell and presenter Kate Garraway. Picture: Barney Newman

The RCNi Nurse Awards 2020 are open for entries, with past winners highlighting the ‘life-changing’ boost it has given their projects, profiles and practice.

In the international year of the nurse and midwife, the profession’s most prestigious accolades offer opportunities for nurses, students and nursing support workers to share their practice innovations by entering the 11 categories.

The categories include Innovations in your specialty, Team of the year, Nursing support worker and Advanced nurse practitioner.

The RCN Nurse of the Year 2020 will be chosen from the category winners and announced at the awards ceremony in London on 8 July.

Enter the awards today

Lindsay Rees won the Nursing older people category in 2019. Ms Rees is clinical manager for Colten Care’s 21 care homes in the south of England, and she devised and implemented a successful improvement project preventing falls while ensuring residents can lead as full a life as possible. 

Passionate about the nursing excellence in care homes

She entered the awards to shine a light on careers in social care, especially in care homes.

‘I wanted to promote care homes as a place where we have highly skilled clinicians and leaders, but we want more,’ she said.

‘The NHS tends to dominate the awards, but I feel passionately about the nursing excellence in care homes.

‘I wanted to help raise standards. I knew my project was good and had had a positive impact on residents, so I wanted to share it.

‘I also wanted to highlight that you can be a successful manager and still retain what makes you a nurse – the clinical skills and looking after your patients.

‘Care home management does not mean stepping away from this. If you design and implement something with impact, you are still caring for people.’

Opportunities for networking with peers

The entry form was simple, Ms Rees says, and the panel of judges made her feel comfortable.

‘The awards ceremony was brilliant – I loved it,’ she recalls. ‘I couldn’t believe it when I won. I was proud and felt a huge sense of achievement. It was the culmination of three years’ work.’

Ms Rees has since presented at RCNi career development events, which she found useful for networking, and several nurses have contacted her about implementing her falls programme in their settings.

‘The award has raised my profile in my organisation and given me a platform to be more influential,’ she says.

‘It gives such valuable external validation of the project. I have been rolling the work out throughout my care homes and have noticed how accepting staff are of my arguments about the need for changing practice.

‘I recommend nurses entering themselves or nominating colleagues. It is important that we shout loud and proud about how amazing it is to be a nurse.’

RCN Nurse of the Year put her specialty in the spotlight

RCNi Nurse of the Year 2019 Taurai Matare
RCN Nurse of the Year 2019 Taurai Matare. Picture: Barney Newman

Matron Taurai Matare is the current RCN Nurse of the Year. She developed her hospital’s ophthalmology service and its nursing team, bringing together separate eye casualty, outpatients and theatres to create a single, modern treatment centre on one site.

‘I didn’t realise what a huge thing it was nationally and internationally to be the RCN Nurse of the Year, but I’ve been networking with nurses around the UK and the world, and from all specialties,’ she says.

‘I met the prime minister when he came to my workplace, Whipps Cross Hospital in London, and I’ve been invited to present my work in Australia and in Singapore.

‘Winning the award has put the specialty I am so passionate about – ophthalmology – in the spotlight.

‘So many hospitals and ophthalmology teams want to visit our unit and see what we do, and so many nurses and nursing support workers are interested in working here that we now have a waiting list.’

Flying the flag for ophthalmology

‘Many colleagues have emailed and phoned to congratulate me on flying the flag for ophthalmology,’ she says.

‘I have loved being able to raise its profile as a nursing career and we have definitely put it right up there in our trust.

‘I absolutely recommend that nurses enter the RCNi Nurse Awards. Submit your nominations – you get to have so many experiences you would never have dreamed of.’

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