TV and radio presenter Kate Garraway leads the hunt for Britain’s best nurses

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The UK’s most prestigious nursing accolades, the RCNi Nurse Awards, have officially opened in search of Britain’s nursing heroes. Now in their 31st year, the RCNi Nurse Awards identify and celebrate nurses who, every day, go above and beyond to save lives, provide outstanding care for patients and transform nursing practice for the better.

The 2018 RCNi Nurse Awards are set to be bigger and better than ever before, spanning 14 categories from Child Health and Cancer Nursing to Mental Health and Emergency Nursing. TV and Radio presenter, Kate Garraway, will be this year’s awards ambassador to help secure a record number of entries and raise the profile of nurses across the country.

Previous years’ awards have received over 700 entries, with each nurse’s achievement highlighting the work that nurses do behind the scenes to tackle the UK’s most important health related issues. In the run up to the launch, Kate Garraway shadowed Dorcas Gwata, winner of the RCNi Mental Health Nurse Award 2015, visiting the youth centre where she has a pioneering role in implementing mental health initiatives to address the rising number of youths involved in gang violence and crime.

Kate Garraway, RCNi Nurse Awards Ambassador 2018, said “In recent years I have crossed paths with many nurses, from the wonderful team who made my uncle’s final days battling pancreatic cancer as comfortable as possible to those holding my children’s (and my) hands for their first jabs. Throughout these experiences I was consistently amazed by their sheer dedication and ability to connect with patients, yet they often don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Spending the day with mental health nurse and previous winner, Dorcas Gwata, showed me what a wide range of work nurses do and how much it means to nurses to be recognised by the RCNi Nurse Awards. Winning her award really inspired and further motivated Dorcas, and gave her the confidence to go on and do bigger projects, helping more youngsters and their families. I really hope that more nurses are inspired to enter themselves or their colleagues this year and I can’t wait to celebrate each extraordinary nurse at the awards ceremony in July”.

Previous winners also include Drew McDonald, winner of the RCNi Child Health Award 2017, who developed a sepsis recognition tool to improve the number of avoidable paediatric deaths which currently stands at over a thousand every year[1], and Anne Thomas, winner of the RCNi Community Nurse Award 2017, who works to reach men in rural Wales where farmers are at the highest risk of suicide.

Rachel Armitage, Managing Director at RCNi, said: “Despite the ever-growing responsibilities of nurses, the inspirational stories from our previous finalists exemplify the excellence in nursing across all specialisms and backgrounds in the UK. Raising the profile of the 2018 RCNi Nurse Awards allows us to give nurses the recognition they deserve and encourage them to continue their remarkable work while inspiring more people to join this vital profession”.

Nurses can enter themselves or be nominated by a colleague by visiting 2018 RCNi Nurse Awards Entry page here: www.rcni.com/nurse-awards/enter-now.

[1] https://sepsistrust.org/

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