As we approach the New Year, I’m super excited and proud to share the awesome news of receiving the prestigious RCN Nurse of the Year Award and Leadership Award 2023.

It was only last year that I received my Queen’s Nurse title! These amazing accolades not only recognise individual achievements but also remind us of how primary care nurses rock at providing exceptional patient care and making positive changes in healthcare. It was also great for my whole team to receive recognition for the work they have put in, changing health disparities for our diverse communities with cervical screening.

Getting the RCN Nurse of the Year Award is seriously humbling. It shows the dedication and commitment I’ve put into my role as a primary care nurse and the huge impact it has had on my patients’ lives. This award also inspires me to keep aiming for excellence in my practice and finding new ways to improve healthcare outcomes.

Leadership is a huge deal for every nurse, and being honoured with the RCN Leadership Award shows how important it is in shaping the future of primary care. It’s a call to action for all primary care nurses to step up and take on leadership roles, whether in their healthcare teams or communities. Leadership gives us opportunities to advocate for patients, influence policy changes, and tackle the urgent issues our healthcare system faces.

As we kick off the New Year, it's crucial that we address the big issue of health inequalities. We need to actively engage with our patients, listen carefully to their unique needs, and make sure everyone gets the care they deserve.

Julie Roye QN

As we kick off the New Year, it’s crucial that we address the big issue of health inequalities. Despite all the cool advancements in healthcare, unfair access to quality care still exists, especially for marginalised communities. As primary care nurses, we play a crucial role in reducing these inequalities. We need to actively engage with our patients, listen carefully to their unique needs, and make sure everyone gets the care they deserve.

Collaboration is key in tackling tough healthcare challenges. By working together with diverse healthcare professionals, we can combine our expertise to improve patient outcomes. Collaboration allows us to take a more holistic approach to care, considering not just the physical health of patients but also their mental, emotional, and social well-being. It’s through collaboration that we can truly make a difference in the lives of our patients and communities.

It really hit me that I was the first primary care nurse to receive this award and the journey was not without its challenges. I vividly remember hearing what President Franklin Roosevelt said:

“It’s not the critic who counts; not the person who points out how the strong person stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the person who’s actually in the arena, with a face covered in dust, sweat, and blood; who strives with great courage; who makes mistakes and falls short again and again, because there’s no effort without error and shortcoming; but who keeps striving to do great things; who knows great passions, the great devotions; who gives everything for a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if they fail, at least fail while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I can assure you that I’ve stumbled many times, but I’ve stayed in the arena, ready to face challenges and giants, knowing that sometimes I may fail, but if I don’t fail, I will succeed! Moving forward, I’m committed to continuing my efforts in advancing primary care nursing and addressing health inequities. I will actively seek opportunities for professional growth, staying up to date with the latest research and best practices in healthcare. I will also fight for policy changes that promote fair access to care and support the growth and empowerment of primary care nurses.

In conclusion, winning the RCN Nurse of the Year Award and Leadership Award is an incredible honour that comes with great responsibility. It shows the huge potential and endless possibilities that await primary care nurses in the new year. Let’s grab these opportunities, work together, and strive to improve health outcomes for all, leaving no one behind.

Together, we can make a real impact and create a brighter and healthier future for all.

Julie Roye QN

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