This year NHS Professionals is co-sponsoring the Nursing Times’ Rising Star Award, along with NHS England and The Florence Nightingale Foundation.
Some nurses stand out from the moment they enter the profession. They are natural leaders whose motivation is to constantly improve the quality of their own practice and of the services they work in. Their caring natures ensure they will not only offer compassionate care themselves, but will demand it of those around them and raise concerns if it falls short. They have the capacity to develop essential nursing skills quickly, and the creativity to innovate and reshape services. Nurses like these will be a positive influence on the profession throughout their careers.
The Rising Star Award aims to recognise a nurse who has been qualified for less than five years, and demonstrates exceptional qualities that embody the best of nursing and the leadership skills to inspire others to follow their example. Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they have put one or more of the 6Cs into practice through an initiative to improve patient care.
The judges have narrowed the Rising Star category down to nine entries; take a look at their profiles to find out why they were nominated:
Nina Turner – Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS
Nina currently works as a respiratory nurse specialist at Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS. Back in 2012 she had the idea to set up the first prison pulmonary rehabilitation programme in the UK in an effort to address an inequality of COPD care within prison healthcare. She made contact with a specialist respiratory physiotherapist, Helen Jefford, within the same organisation and asked her to help her run this programme. Collaboratively they ran two successful programmes, and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Prison won the Nursing Times Respiratory Nursing Award in 2013. Since then Nina has left the prison to further her respiratory knowledge through working within a specialist respiratory team to help build her skills. In her own time she continues to work towards promoting change in prison healthcare.
Sara Harritt – Forest House Adolescent Unit
Sara is a Band 5 mental health nurse who has taken on an ‘acting up’ Band 6 Charge Nurse role to cover a secondment absence. She is responsible for managing shifts, organising activities and advocating for service users – and supporting them during ward rounds, as well as supporting junior staff with supervision and training. She also leads on eating disorder meal planning and ordering. Sara has developed and implemented a weekly recovery group on the unit to encourage coping strategies and managing leave while recognising service users’ strengths. She represents the unit in this capacity at conferences and events by showcasing the recovery group with a stall for sharing information, and promoting the services provided by Forest House.
Tara Webster – Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Trust
Tara works as an acute liaison nurse for adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism within a very large acute hospital trust. This role requires her to use her dynamic portfolio of creative nursing skills to influence and lead change across all professional disciplines and hospital support staff. The most important part of her role is to ensure that the individuals get good quality health care, treatment and equitable health outcomes whilst accessing acute hospital services. Tara achieves this through rapid assessment of the individual’s needs and risk factors, and by the introduction of individualised care plans with specified “adjustments” that are implemented by the hospital team to ensure consistency of approach, reduction of anxiety and positive outcomes. Tara’s role requires her to work alongside and model strategies to support the teams to develop the skills they need to support the individual’s additional needs. This includes introducing a range of different media and communication tools to help them gain an understanding. Education and training for hospital staff at all levels is pivotal to this role. Tara supports the delivery of this with enthusiasm and has inspired both small and large changes across the hospital.
Daniel Rowark – Adlington Manor Care Home
Daniel currently works at Adlington Manor as head of care on their Cedar community. He is responsible for the operational management of a 40 bedded nursing unit supporting a large number of residents with complex nursing needs with specialist knowledge of end of life, palliative and complex care. Leading a small dedicated nursing team Daniel has overall responsibility for all facets of this community: the medication management, clinical governance, seeking best practice in tissue viability, safeguarding, and prevention of falls and nutrition. He leads and manages the care required by all our new residents, assessing, planning, implementing, evaluating and recording in the care plan and communicating this to care staff. His focus is residents’ care and social needs, ensuring they are met at all times. Daniel ensures that he visits each and every resident regularly to develop a close and trusting relationship.
Gary Mitchell – Four Seasons Healthcare, Belfast Head Office
In 2010 Gary took up the first nursing post as a dementia care nurse with Four Seasons Healthcare. After he completed his MSc and publication of a number of peer-reviewed papers, he took up the position as a regional dementia care advisor for the areas of Northern Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man, which includes approximately 80 care homes. His present role relates to the education, implementation and evaluation of the company’s PEARL (Positivity Enriching and Enhancing Residents Lives) programme. The PEARL programme is grounded in, not only evidenced-based practice, but also person-centred practices. Gary has led a number of practices based on person-centred practices that were underpinned by empirical evidence. These initiatives included; reduction in the use of anti-psychotic medication prescriptions, life-history work with residents and utilisation of doll therapy for people living with dementia. In addition to his role with Four Seasons Healthcare, Gary is in his final year of doctoral study with Queen’s University Belfast. His study, not related to dementia care, is concerned with communication practices between healthcare professionals and patients about chemotherapy.
Michelle Lewins – Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
Michelle Lewins is a deputy sister on the dual elderly mental health ward at QE Gateshead. She works with an amazing team who have the vision of care that the patient is at the centre of everything. This philosophy of care is embedded into practice and is reflected in the senior nursing team. Michelle is a rising star at QE Gateshead; she is a nurse that has shown to her colleagues and others around her just how important it is to have the elements of the 6Cs nursing framework at the forefront of our minds in every day practice. While Michelle appreciates the old fashioned values that are true to the core of the nursing, she is demonstrative of the qualities of “what it is to be a nurse in the 21st century”. She has the young head of a dynamic and intelligent health care nursing professional and the swift diligence of a transformational leader in the future state of the NHS. QE Gateshead is amazed by how clinically effective Michelle is with the elements of sincerity to uphold what nursing is all about.
Emma Selby – Fusion – Young Peoples Drug and Alcohol service
Emma Selby is a mental health nurse specialising with young people and Adolescents. She is a Band 6 Senior Substance Misuse nurse working with young people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Victoria Bryant – PJ Care
Victoria Bryant is a nurse on Brunel Unit, Mallard House for PJ Care, a specialist neurological care provider. She nurses people with various acquired and progressive neurological conditions, including ABI due to trauma or stroke, spinal cord injuries, frontal temporal dementias, Multiple Sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease. Patients reside in the unit for long term care and slow stream rehabilitation or palliative care.
Shellie Jean Radford – Nottingham University Hospitals
Shellie Jean Radford is a staff nurse who works within the multidisciplinary team (MDT). Shellie works on a surgical gastro and general ward at Nottingham University Hospital.
We’re looking forward to finding out the Rising Star winner on 29 October at Grosvenor House Hotel. Good luck to all of the finalists, we’re proud to recognise the rising stars of the future.