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'Great ideas for awards can bring lasting change'

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The Nursing Times Awards call for entries closed last week, with submissions on a record high.

We received 835 in total - with some of the 17 categories clocking up well over 150 entries from nurses and their teams.

This is fantastic news. Not necessarily for our poor judges, who will now spend hours of their time reading about the fabulous projects our entrants have been involved in (thank you judges). But it is good news for our awards, and especially for the profession. It seems despite the fact changes are coming thick and fast, and the underlying threat to jobs and pensions, nurses are still coming up with great ideas to revolutionise patient care.

In fact, they are generating more of these ideas and innovations than they ever have before. Sharing projects with other nurses and health professionals disseminates good practice and ensures time-saving, resource-saving initiatives that put patient safety and quality outcomes first are heard about.

I am sure those 835 awards entries will give the judges some difficult decisions when it comes to selecting a winner. But I am also confident there are many more projects being rolled out by nurses who simply don’t have time to enter our awards or write an article for the practice section of Nursing Times to share their good work. I don’t know if I can convince you that doing this would be time well spent in this short column, but I hope I can.

Telling others about your accomplishments in this magazine and through our awards isn’t just about celebrating success (although it should be a big part of it). It’s about having access to a global community, and finding out how that community is influencing change. When nurses can go to their chief execs with evidence demonstrating that other nurses in other areas have achieved X and maybe saved Y in the process, it creates a powerful argument that cannot be easily ignored. So share what you do well, be honest about what can go wrong so others can learn from your experiences, and remember that you can influence change.

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