Karina Hepworth, a senior specialist learning disability nurse applied to be a Queen’s Nurse in order to raise the profile of young people’s needs.
The title of Queen’s Nurse is awarded by the Queen’s Nurse Institute – which re-introduced the tile in 2006 to help promote high standards of community nursing. Nurses who today hold the title include district nurses, nurses in GP practices, school nurses and others who work in people’s own homes, clinics and other community settings.
To become a Queen’s Nurse, Karina explained, “You have to complete an application that highlights your experience of working within a community setting, continuing professional development and an example of a case where you feel you made a difference to a person’s life through the care you delivered.
“My manager was also asked to provide a reference supporting my application and two of the people I have worked with also agreed to. This was entirely confidential – so when I found out I had been given the title, and saw the feedback that people had given, I was overwhelmed.
“I applied to be a Queen’s Nurse as their values are a blueprint for myself as an individual and as a professional nurse. They are what I strive to achieve every day of my life. Learning disability nursing affords me the opportunity to do this on a daily basis and my role enables young people with a learning disability to have the appropriate care delivered by all staff in our service. I see becoming a Queen’s Nurse as an opportunity to have a voice to further develop the role of learning disability nurses within youth offending teams and to raise the profile of the needs of these young people.
“I am also hoping that being a Queen’s Nurse will give me the opportunity to meet others working to these values, contribute to new ideas about nursing and to the development of policy.”
The Queen’s Nursing Institute is a registered charity dedicated to improving the nursing care of people. Karina will be presented with a certificate to recognise her achievement of being awarded the title at a special ceremony in November.
Jane Smith, general manager of the Trust’s learning disability services said, “Karina’s recognition as a Queen’s Nurse is a really great achievement and the qualities that Karina had to evidence (extensively) as part of the process are absolutely those which we aspire to as a Trust.”