Passion for nursing

Claire Harris, ward sister at Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, South Wales, began training to be a nurse just ten years ago. Yet last year, she won the RCN Wales Nurse of the Year award for her role in delivering a stroke design programme and single-site stroke service at her local health board

Claire Harris, ward sister at Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, South Wales, began training to be a nurse just ten years ago. Yet last year, she won the RCN Wales Nurse of the Year award for her role in delivering a stroke design programme and single-site stroke service at her local health board. She talks to Jennifer Sprinks about her career to date.

Abstract

It is impressive enough to be crowned RCN Wales Nurse of the Year, but winning the accolade within six years of qualifying is an exceptional achievement.

Claire Harris, a ward sister at the Royal Gwent Hospital (RGH) in Newport, only began nurse training in 2006.

She was recognised at the awards for her role in delivering a stroke design programme at her health board. This led to the creation of a single-site stroke service and the introduction of 12 hyperacute stroke beds by January this year.

The unit has seen an increase in discharge rates and a reduction in the average length of stay for patients.

Even Ms Harris was surprised to win the award so early in her career, saying: ‘There are so many nurses who work equally as hard as I do. I want the award to raise the profile of nursing because I love my job and I want to tell people what a good profession nursing is.’

Her win may inspire younger nurses, perhaps unaccustomed to such seniority or recognition among their age group.

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This article was first published in print in Nursing Older People: volume 28, issue 3

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