Geraldine Browne was unveiled as the Royal College of Nursing’s “nurse of the year” for Northern Ireland earlier this month.
Ms Browne is manager of the Silverdale Care Home in Castlederg. She received the award for transforming the way patients are cared for within the home, which has led to a decrease in the number of patients being transferred to hospital.
Runner-up was Louise Sloan, from Ballymena, a specialist renal nurse based at Antrim Area Hospital but working across the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.
She was recognised for her success in developing the range of services available for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease.
Meanwhile, Professor Hugh McKenna, pro-vice chancellor of the University of Ulster, received an award to celebrate outstanding achievement in nursing.
RCN Northern Ireland director Janice Smyth said the healthcare system in Northern Ireland had been under “continuing pressure for quite some time”, which meant nurses needed to find ways to “deliver services better”.
“I am extremely encouraged by what nurses working on the ground are achieving,” she said. “In particular, Geraldine Browne, who as a nursing home manager, put her patients first and had the foresight and ambition to do what has now been proposed in [the NI government’s] Transforming Your Care [programme].”
She added: “Through determination and commitment to improving patient care, Geraldine and her team have made a huge difference to how patients in the home are cared for, preventing unnecessary hospital admission.”
The awards ceremony took place at the Culloden Hotel, Holywood, on 6 June. It was attended by NI health minister Edwin Poots.
A full list of awards and winners can be found on the RCN’s website
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