Three Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) nurses have been recognised for their outstanding achievements at the annual NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards.
Westmead Hospital genetic therapy coordinator Kerry Devine won the Excellence in Nursing – Registered Nurse Award, Westmead Hospital clinical midwifery consultant Michelle Simmons was a finalist for the Registered Midwife Award, and Integrated and Community Health Aboriginal maternal service nurse Jasmine Wannell was a finalist for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Healthcare Award.
Kerry said she was shocked to receive the state’s top honour for a registered nurse.
“It was a big surprise to not only be nominated by a colleague but also be picked by the judges. It feels really good,” Kerry said.
“We have a great team here so it’s nice to be recognised. I’d get by without it but it is a good feeling. I’m still shocked that I won.”
Kerry has a background in intensive care and started at Westmead Hospital in 2003 in a brand new role as the genetic therapy coordinator.
She manages enzyme replacement infusions for patients with rare lysomal storage disorders that can affect every part of their body, from the heart and kidneys to bone and muscle.
In her nomination, colleague Kate Eisenhuth said Kerry had adapted and grown in the role as her patient load grew from less than 10 to now more than 130 people under her care.
“Rare disease nursing has many challenges and I believe that Kerry has overcome them to pioneer the excellent standard of care with a focus on a person-centered approach for patients,” Kate said.
“Kerry evaluates each patient’s needs and experiences, and develops a personalised care plan based on this.”
WSLHD Nursing and Midwifery director Caroline Farmer congratulated the winner and finalists for their incredible achievement.
“To be recognised from among more than 50,000 nurses and midwives across the state is a wonderful accomplishment and one worth celebrating,” Caroline said.
“I could not be more proud of the hardworking nursing and midwifery staff we have across the district.”
Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard presented awards to the 13 most accomplished nurses and midwives from across NSW at the event in Sydney on Tuesday evening.
“These nurses and midwives go above and beyond to provide excellent care to patients and help make our NSW public health system what it is today – world class,” Mr Hazzard said.
“A nurse or midwife is there every step of the way on a patient’s journey, whether it be at the birth of a baby, or a life-saving procedure in the operating theatre.
“Some have devoted lifelong careers to healthcare, others are launching their careers – and all of the 2019 award winners have made an outstanding contribution to the busiest public health system in Australia.”
The 13 winners were recognised in 12 categories ranging from excellence in practice to clinical leadership and innovation in research.
More than 53,000 nurses and midwives work full-time and part-time in NSW Health hospitals and health services.
The NSW Government is investing $2.8 billion to recruit 8,300 extra frontline staff over the next four years, including an additional 5000 nurses and midwives.