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Prestigious nursing honour for two UCLan lecturers

Prestigious nursing honour for two UCLan lecturers Banner Image

Kathryn Smyth (left) with Georgina Ritchie.

Georgina and Kathryn to receive Queen’s Nurse Award

Two nursing lecturers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been recognised for their commitment to the highest standards of care, learning and leadership in the profession.

Georgina Ritchie and Kathryn Smyth, who also work as community specialist practitioners alongside their teaching, will receive the prestigious Queen’s Nurse Award, presented by registered charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI).  It is an honour reserved for nurses working in a community setting who have demonstrated a high level of patient care and nursing practice.

The duo, who first met in 2005 on UCLan’s Postgraduate Diploma in Community Nursing Specialist Practitioner course before working together at the University several years later, are two of 130 applicants to receive the award.  The title is not an award for past service, but indicates a commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership. Nurses who hold the title benefit from developmental workshops, bursaries, networking opportunities, and a shared professional identity.

The title of Queen’s Nurse is one that commands much respect and I will take pride in acting as a role model to our workforce and as a caring advocate for our patients, unpaid carers workforce and families.

Senior lecturer Georgina is the Course Leader for Community Specialist Practice Programmes and Pathway Leader for District Nursing at UCLan.  She also holds an honorary contract with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, working within the district nursing service. She said: “It is an honour to receive this award.  The title of Queen’s Nurse is one that commands much respect and I will take pride in acting as a role model to our workforce and as a caring advocate for our patients, unpaid carers workforce and families.”

Kathryn, a Lecturer in General Practice Nursing and Non Medical Prescribing who also works as a practice nurse for the Windsor Surgery in Garstang, commented: “One of my first placements as a student nurse was within general practice and I knew from that point that it was an area of nursing I would aspire to work in.  The Queen’s Nursing values are reflected in my nursing role as I am wholly committed to providing patient centred care to a high standard.  I see myself as an advocate for patients’, families and carers and students now that I have taken on an academic position.”

Dr Crystal Oldman, Chief Executive of the QNI, said: “Congratulations are due to Georgina and Kathryn for their success. Community nurses are expert professionals who make a vital contribution to patient health and wellbeing every day. As a national charity the QNI can share innovation and best practice, support ing nurses to deliver excellent healthcare to patients in local communities.”

Georgina, who originally trained to be a nurse in the British Army, has worked at the University since 2010 and Kathryn joined the institution last year.

Nursing to me is now also about educating, motivating and inspiring our precious nursing workforce.

Speaking about their students’ reactions to the award, Kathryn commented: “Our students are so supportive and we’re looking forward to sharing the good news.  The passion and enthusiasm we both hold for community nursing is evident and we hope to inspire our students and positively promote this sector of nursing.”

Georgina added: “Nursing to me is now also about educating, motivating and inspiring our precious nursing workforce. I enjoy the real buzz of education, when those light bulbs start lighting up and students ‘get it’.  You know then you have played a small part in their nursing journey and perhaps shaped the way in which they practice as nurses.”

The lecturers will officially receive the award at a ceremony in October and will join the other 921 Queen’s Nurses already in post around the country.

Lyndsey Boardman | 22 August 2017