An Eglinton nurse has won the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award 2014.
Bernie Michaelides was one of a number of Western Trust nurses from or based in Derry who led the way at an awards ceremony on Thursday night.
Organised by the Royal College of Nursing, this is the eighteenth year of the awards, which took place at the Culloden Hotel, Holywood.
Bernie is Head of Intermediate Care and lead nurse for adult community nursing at the Western Health and Social Care Trust.
She received the award for establishing an acute clinical intervention centre at Tyrone Community Hospital, which provides treatment and care for patients in their local community.
Runner-up was Michelle Kosky from Limavady, who is children and young person facilitator at Foyle Hospice.
Michelle was awarded for her role in developing the Healing Hearts initiative which provides specialist bereavement support for children and young people between four and 16 years old who have experienced, or are about to experience, the death of someone close to them.
Joanne Breslin, a staff nurse at Altnagelvin Area Hospital also won the Patient’s Choice Award sponsored by the Patient Client Council.
She was nominated for the outstanding care she provided to a woman who was being treated in the intensive care and high dependency unit at Altnagelvin.
The runner-up was Tina Bell from Eglinton who is nurse manager of Artspace, a community interest company which offers creative opportunities to people with a learning disability. Tina was nominated by a girl who had been denied access to day-care services since leaving school.
Dr Kevin Moore, from the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus won the Nursing Research Award, sponsored by the University of Ulster for his research on the role of home care workers in health and social care provision.
Mary Lafferty, from Culmore, was runner-up in the Chief Nursing Officer’s Award for Patient Safety. She is the assistant nursing services manager in the trauma and orthopaedic unit at Altnagelvin Area Hospital and was described as an “exemplary leader.”
Finally, Quynh Nguyen, a nursing student based at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus, was runner-up in the Student Award sponsored by Queen’s University, Belfast.
Bernie, who is Head of Intermediate Care and lead nurse for adult community nursing at the Western Health and Social Care Trust, fought off competition from three other finalists.
Nominated twice, in relation to various pieces of work, she was described as “an exemplary student who was conscientious, dedicated to her patients and her nursing career”.
Commenting on the Awards, RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth said: “Our winner demonstrates exactly how nurses can contribute to the reform of services and making health care better, more appropriate and more accessible for patients and their families.”