Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Respiratory nurse educator named ‘nurse of year’ by RCN Wales

  • Comment

A respiratory nurse has been named as “nurse of the year” by the Royal College of Nursing in Wales for her work in tackling some of the worst mortality rates from chronic lung disease in the UK.

Louise Walby was last night named Wales Nurse of the Year 2017 at an awards ceremony held at City Hall in Cardiff.

“Louise is an extremely worthy recipient of the highest honour we can award”

Tina Donnelly

Ms Walby, a respiratory nurse facilitator with Cwm Taf, University Health Board, emerged as the overall winner at the sixth annual RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year Awards.

She works in the Welsh Valleys, which has the fourth worst mortality in Britain for chronic lung disease, where she has helped to improve early recognition and intervention for high-risk patients.

She has visited 50 GP practices in the region to work with clinicians and deliver accredited training to improve the diagnosis of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Ms Walby is credited with improving the whole patient experience and management of COPD, something that impacts across the whole region.

Her work has also been recognised at a national level and is being used as an exemplar of best practice across Wales.

“I feel really privileged and honoured and I’m looking forward to the future”

Louise Walby

On winning the overall award, she said: “When my name was called, I was in complete shock. I’d won the Primary Care Award so I was extremely grateful and humbled about that.

“I was in awe of all the nurses around me and all the wonderful work that was being described. I work with a wonderful team and I have the best job,” she said.

Ms Walby described the awards ceremony as “great for nurses” and the “ultimate acknowledgement of our work”.

“There are negative stories out there about healthcare but there are so many good nurses doing outstanding work,” she said. “I feel really privileged and honoured and I’m looking forward to the future.”

The event was attended by health and social services secretary for Wales Vaughan Gething, who described presenting Ms Walby with her award as a “real privilege”.

He said: “I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all nurses in Wales for the tremendous work they do; work that makes a difference patients’ lives every day, their experiences of care, and their outcomes. From myself, and on behalf of the people of Wales, I thank you.”

Royal College of Nursing Wales

Sister says working A&E night shift is more stressful than war zone

Tina Donnelly

Tina Donnelly, director of the RCN in Wales, added: “Dedicated nurses are making a huge difference to the lives of their patients all across Wales – and Louise Walby is a shining example of that kind of commitment and care.

“Louise is an extremely worthy recipient of the highest honour we can award,” said Ms Donnelly. “She demonstrates the very best of what nurses can achieve.

The event also saw the launch of a Nurse of the Year Alumni Network, which RCN Wales said would offer a “clear pathway of personal and career development opportunities and exposure”.

The network will create a “consortium of innovative nurse leaders” who will promote nursing within Wales, the UK and internationally, said the RCN.

Ms Donnelly said all this year’s awards finalists would be enrolled in the network, allowing them to gain “support and career development opportunities from us and our partner organisations”.

In total, accolades were handed out across 17 categories during the evening (see full list below).

Wales Nurse of the Year Award 

  • Winner: Louise Walby – respiratory nurse facilitator for primary care, Cwm Taf University Health Board

Lifetime Achievement Award 

  • Winner: Tanya Strange MBE – divisional nurse for primary care and networks, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Nursing Student Award

  • Winner: Tyler Payne – student nurse (learning disabilities), University of South Wales
  • Runner-up: Sophie Burgess – student nurse (adult), Bangor University

Healthcare Support Worker Award

  • Winner: Steven Evans-Jones – practitioner assistant, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Runner-up – Matthew Rapier, healthcare support worker, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Clinical Nurse Specialist Award

  • Winner: Ann Parkes – lead nurse practitioner, cardiothoracic outpatient department, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Runner-up: Iris Williams – colorectal clinical nurse specialist, Hywel Dda University Health Board

Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Award

  • Winner: Adele Watkins – clinical nurse specialist for children and young people in crisis, Children’s Hospital for Wales, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • Runner-up: Kara Hannigan – electro convulsive therapy (ECT) clinic manager, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Children and Midwifery Award

  • Winner: Lynfa Day – Ppediatric respiratory and atopic clinical nurse specialist, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Runner-up: Eirlys Thomas – head of nursing for neonatal and children’s services, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Award

  • Winner: Suzanne Hardacre – head of midwifery and lead directorate nurse, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Runner-up: Jayne Sankey – lead nurse for community nursing services, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Registered Nurse (Adult) Award

  • Winner: Ann Robins – ward manager, Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Runners-up – Carolyn Alport, ward sister and Sarah Spencer, senior nurse manager, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Innovation in Nursing Award

  • Winner: Tanya Strange MBE – divisional nurse for primary care and networks, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • Runner-up: Viki Jenkins – heart failure nurse specialist, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Community Nursing Award

  • Winner: Paul Crank – senior nurse district nursing, Cwm Taf University Health Board
  • Runner-up: Carys Stevens, palliative care clinical nurse specialist/team leader, Hywel Dda University Health Board

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Award

  • Winner: Bethan Andrews – senior sister, Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Runner-up: Heather Mahoney – frailty nurse lead, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Nurse Education Award

  • Winner: Pamela Penman – practice development facilitator Wales Marie Curie
  • Runner-up: Aron White – practice development nurse, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Research in Nursing Award

  • Winner: Dr Nicola Evans – senior lecturer, Cardiff University
  • Runners-up: Dr Lynne Williams – deputy head of school and enterprise lead, senior lecturer/research fellow, Bangor University

Improving Individual and Population Health Award

  • Winner: Hanka Roudnicka – ward manager, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • Runner-up: Sarah Nicholas and Kerry Rockey – infectious diseases clinical nurse specialists, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Mentorship Award

  • Winner: Pamela Warne – staff nurse, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Runner-Up: Cheryl Rowlands – operational team lead for the acute clinical team, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

Suzanne Goodall Paediatric Nursing

  • Winner: Candice St John – lead nurse, Ty Hafan
  • Runner-Up: Vera Clement – palliative care clinical nurse specialist for children and young people, Cwm Taf University Health Board
  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs