Queen’s nurse loves ‘trying to make a difference’

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A Tarbert nurse is one of 21 health professionals awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse.

Cathanna Smith was selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).

The Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP), at Tarbert Medical Practice, was nominated for providing high quality, compassionate care to people in her community.

After completing the programme successfully, Cathanna was awarded the historic Queen’s Nurse title along with 20 other community nurses at a ceremony in Edinburgh at the end of November.

It marks only the second time the honour has been made in Scotland in almost 50 years following the reintroduction of the title in 2017.

Cathanna, who has previously been named Citizen of the Year in Tarbert, was selected for her on-going commitment to her patients and dedication to showcasing the important role of the ANP.

She said: ‘As an ANP I have the privilege of dealing with everybody – you get to know the whole community and they get to know you

‘I love my job, I love coming to work, helping people and trying to make a difference.

‘I am absolutely delighted to become a Queen’s Nurse as the programme has had a life-changing impact on me.

‘It’s given me even more confidence and I feel invigorated to continue in my role caring for the community.’

Liz Higgins, Lead Nurse for Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership, said: ‘I am delighted that Cathanna has been awarded the Queen’s Nurse Award.

‘This is well-deserved and is fitting recognition of all her hard work and her duty to her patients.

‘She is now the second nurse in Argyll and Bute to complete this transformational development programme and we look forward to continuing to work with the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland in the years ahead.’

Queen’s Nursing in Scotland dates back to the late 19th century, when nurses completed specific training which allowed them to work as district nurses.

They provided healthcare and health promotion to people in their own homes and became well respected figures within their community.

Following the introduction of a national certificate for district nursing, QNIS ceased training, awarding the Queen’s Nurse title for the final time in 1969.

The decision was made to reintroduce Queen’s Nurses to Scotland in 2017, with 20 community nurses chosen to take part in a development programme which would see them become the first modern Queen’s Nurses.

The process involves employers nominating a community-based nurse who will go forward for interview following a successful written application.

This year, 21 community nurses were selected to complete the nine-month programme. It consists of a week-long residential workshop followed by two further workshops and coaching sessions in between.

The programme requires them to choose an issue for development which will have a significant impact on those in their care, so that the learning during the nine months is applied in practice.

Other community nurses in the group include an offshore medic, a Diana Children’s Nurse, and a multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease specialist.

Nurses providing care to people in the community who need support with a wide range of issues such as substance misuse, dementia care, dermatology, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and infant feeding also feature.

Those working in community mental health, district nursing, child health, school nursing, care home nursing and health visiting complete the group.

Clare Cable, QNIS Chief Executive and Nurse Director, said: ‘The development programme was designed to ensure that values of Queen’s Nurses of the past can be translated to meet the demands of leadership of nursing in the community in the future.

‘The 2018 Queen’s Nurses really demonstrate the diversity of roles within community nursing in Scotland.

‘They all uphold nursing excellence and bring a firm commitment to make a real difference to the lives of the people they work with.

‘The Queen’s Nurse programme has resulted in a truly transformational journey for those involved and they should all be very proud to have been awarded the title.’

Each nurse was presented with a certificate and badge by Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer, Professor Fiona McQueen, during the awards ceremony at The Principal Edinburgh on George Street hotel.

Prof McQueen said: ‘Scottish nurses support the people of Scotland across all walks of life.

‘This year’s Queen’s Nurses exemplify all that is good about nursing and nurses; supporting people at their time of greatest need and reaching out to people who often struggle to access services.

‘Our Queen’s Nurses ‎are ambassadors for nursing and truly inspirational.’

Kitty Millar, Practice Nurse at the Campbeltown Health Centre, was awarded the title in 2017.