Two local nurses have received awards at the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards 2014.
Organised by the Royal College of Nursing, this is the eighteenth year of the awards, which took place at the Culloden Hotel, Holywood.
Marie Doran, from Dungannon, won the Public Health Award, sponsored by the Public Health Agency and Health and Social Care Board.
Marie, who is Deputy Head of Health Visiting and School Nursing at the Southern Trust was nominated for her work in improving and transforming the school nursing service in the trust.
On her appointment in 2011, Marie reviewed the existing service. Through consultation and negotiation, she established a trust-wide school immunisation team and reconfigured the rest of the service to enable school nurses to focus on public health and safeguarding.
They are now able to provide more targeted support to school age children, particularly those on the child protection register and looked-after children.
The judging panel commended Marie’s courage and leadership, her capacity to care for and value staff and, most importantly, the improved outcomes for children.
Dolores Kane, from Galbally, won the Bamford Vision Award for Mental Health and Learning Disability, sponsored by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Dolores works within child and adolescent mental health services in the Southern Trust and was nominated for her leadership of a number of initiatives that have had a direct impact on the emotional and mental health of children and young people.
Dolores’ nominator says that she has been key in making the Bamford Vision a reality and “is a great example of a nurse who leads the way in transforming services, raising standards and enhancing provision” and adds that she “is energetic, driven, enthusiastic and dedicated to child and adolescent mental health.”
Commenting on the Awards, RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth said: “Our winner demonstrates exactly how nurses can contribute to the reform of services and making health care better, more appropriate and more accessible for patients and their families.
“Despite ongoing challenges, it is clear that nurses are leading the way in Transforming your Care. Sometimes this is through establishing new and innovative services and at other times through health promotion and early intervention to reduce the need for people to require treatment and care in the first place.
“I am extremely encouraged by the excellence and innovation shown by nurses from across Northern Ireland, who continue to be committed to improving services and care for patients. Congratulations to all of our winners who are a credit to the nursing profession.”