Nurses recognised at annual awards event

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A number of local nurses have won awards at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards 2019.

Margaret Carlin, from Magherafelt, won the Cancer Nurse Award sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support.

A Macmillan nurse specialist for the past 23 years, Margaret, who is based at Antrim Area Hospital, was nominated for her role in developing specialist palliative care services and working tirelessly to improve standards of care for patients with lung cancer in the Northern Trust.

Mary O’Kane, from Maghera, was commended in the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award. Based in the Northern Trust, Mary was nominated for her exceptional achievements in enhancing end of life care for those identified as being in the last year of life, and in acute hospital settings.

The model she has developed means patient’s needs and wishes are met and helps to prevent crisis admissions.

Laura Bradley, from Desertmartin, won the Health Care Support Worker Award, sponsored by Liverpool Victoria. Laura’s nominator describes her as “a role model”, compassionate and a supportive member of the rehabilitation unit team at the Mid Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt.

As well as providing a high standard of infection control, Laura has managed the introduction of a new tablet-based system for ordering patients’ meals, providing training to colleagues and ensuring that the patient is at the heart of the process.

Colette Johnston, from Toomebridge, was runner-up in the overall RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award. Colette is leading the Transforming School Nursing project in the Northern Trust, which aims to integrate school nursing with community public health nursing to meet the needs of pupils.

Colette has engaged with local child and adolescent mental health services, social work teams and LGBT services to provide a framework for identifying and assessing emotional and mental health.