Siobhan Rogan from Omagh was celebrating last night, after being named the Royal College of Nursing’s Northern Ireland nurse of the year for 2017.
Ms Rogan, who works in the Southern Trust, was nominated for her leading role in establishing Northern Ireland’s first community-based fully integrated child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) for young people with intellectual disability.
“It is important to recognise and value the excellent care nurses provide to the people of Northern Ireland”
She established specialist teams within CAMHS, providing early intervention and assessment, for young people with high rates of complex mental health and behavioural difficulties who are often unable to access comprehensive, specialist services.
Her award nominator describes her as “an outstanding leader and brilliant colleague who is changing the face of services for children with intellectual disability in Northern Ireland”.
The judging panel was also impressed by her emphasis on the rights of the child and how she promoted services locally so that children did not have to travel outside Northern Ireland.
A parent of one child said: “The help we got here has not only saved his life, it has saved my life”.
RCN Northern Ireland director Janice Smyth said: “Siobhan Rogan is working with some of the most vulnerable children in our society and has made a huge improvement in how they are treated and cared for. This service provides innovative early intervention to promote better long-term outcomes.”
Ms Rogan was presented with the award at a special ceremony held at the Culloden Hotel, Holywood.
“I want to publicly thank each and every nurse and midwife for their dedication and commitment”
Runner-up on the evening was Fiona Barnes, a nurse practitioner in the South Eastern Trust. She was credited with being instrumental in the development of innovative services for patients with borderline personality disorders.
In addition, an award to celebrate outstanding achievement in nursing was presented to Professor Tanya McCance for her exceptional contribution to nursing research and, in particular, person-centred nursing practice.
Sharon Love from Aghagallon was presented with the nurse leadership award. She is a falls prevention nurse at the Northern Trust and was presented with the award for her work to enable patients to be treated and cared for in their own home.
Ms Smyth added: “This is the 21st year of the Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards which have highlighted some of the best examples of nursing practice.
“Despite the challenges nursing and the wider health service continue to face, it is important to recognise and value the excellent care nurses provide to the people of Northern Ireland,” she said.
“Nurses are constantly developing their practice and reforming and modernising services to meet the needs of patients. I am extremely encouraged by the excellence and innovation shown by our finalists who are a credit to the nursing profession,” said Ms Smyth.
Chief nursing officer for Northern Ireland Professor Charlotte McArdle praised nurses for their valued contribution to the country’s health service.
She paid tribute to all the nurses within Northern Ireland’s health and social care system, saying: “They work tirelessly everyday to ensure the delivery of safe, effective care and to keep people’s well being at the heart of their work.”
She said: “Nursing brings together value based attributes of caring, underpinning theoretical knowledge, interpretation of the person’s need and most importantly the competence and confidence to execute decisions that have a positive impact on the person’s outcome.
“I want to publicly thank each and every nurse and midwife for their dedication and commitment to making a difference to the people of Northern Ireland, because without their continued professionalism, determination and resilience our health service would simply not be able to function,” she added.
Congratulating all the finalists, Professor McArdle said: “I was very impressed by all the nurses and healthcare assistants nominated for the awards. The demonstrable benefits for care in all of the categories are both innovative and encouraging and I congratulate you all on your achievements.”
Learning disability nurse named Northern Ireland ‘nurse of the year’