NHS Forth Valley – RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year Forth Valley Finalists

A local nursing student and a nursing team from NHS Forth Valley have been confirmed as finalists in the 2024 RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year Awards.

The Ward 4 nursing team at Forth Valley Royal Hospital have been selected as finalists in the Nursing Team of the Year category which aims to recognise great nursing, delivered by teams, in close partnership with colleagues, patients or stakeholders. The team works in the Mental Health Unit which care for patients with the most severe presentations of illnesses like dementia. They use their skills, care and compassion to help patients maintain as much dignity, quality of life and independence as possible. The team also brings hope to patients and families, helping them to strive for larger goals, access specialist assessments and establish the ward as a centre of excellence in dementia care.

Kasey Saunders, a nursing assistant in Ward 2 at Bo’ness Community Hospital, is also a finalist in the Nursing Student of the Year category.

– This award aims to recognise those who have shown exceptional promise during their practice placements and deserve recognise for exceptional achievement during their studies.

Kasey overcame a number of personal challenges, including social anxiety and dyslexia, to fulfil her dream of training to become a nurse. Although she lacked confidence, with support and encouragement, she applied to the Open University, balancing work in a dementia ward with studies. Accepted as one of three candidates in NHS Forth Valley, Kasey embraced many challenges, participating in various placements, and initiating projects like a carers’ group and a garden restoration for patients. Over time, she has transformed into a confident and competent nursing student, exceeding expectations with her dedication and compassion. Despite her dyslexia, Kasey never missed deadlines and her accomplishments are commendable, making her an inspiration to her  colleagues and those considering a nursing career.

The RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year Awards spotlight excellence in Scottish nursing, acknowledging, highlighting, and celebrating the unwavering commitment and exceptional professional care provided by nursing staff. They also recognise the innovation, leadership, and dedication to learning displayed within the nursing community.

Prof Frances Dodd, Executive Nurse Director, NHS Forth Valley, said: “I’m delighted that the work of local nursing staff and students has been recognised with these prestigious awards. Being selected as finalists is a great achievement and I’m incredibly proud of the work undertaken by local nursing staff and teams across Forth Valley.”

Colin Poolman, RCN Scotland Director, expressed his enthusiasm, saying: “Our awards are a wonderful occasion and allow us to give some well-deserved recognition for and demonstrate the excellence of nursing staff in Scotland. The calibre of submissions was exceptional, and we hope the finalists, as well as anyone who was nominated, feels the love and appreciation people have for the work they do.”

The winners of each award will be announced at an awards ceremony on 23 May 2024 at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Further information on the award finalists can be found on the RCN website

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