Sharon Evans (R) receiving her Queen’s Nurse award from professor Jean White CBE
Photo credit: Kate Stanworth
A mum who has dedicated nearly three decades to caring for others has received recognition for her commitment to patients and inspiring the next generation of nurses.
Sharon Evans is the Urgent Care Matron based at St Austell Healthcare and is now one of 119 nurses who have recently been named Queen’s Nurses.
The award celebrates the achievements in community nursing and the dedication, the passion and the skills of nurses working in the community today. Queen's nurses are regarded as innovators and leaders in community nursing and are committed to learning, leadership and high standards of patient care.
Sharon, originally from Lostwithiel, completed her RGN training at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske.
“I am very humbled and honoured to be recognised for the work that I do. The most important and rewarding aspect about my job is providing a high standard of patient care and making a difference. When a patient leaves my consultation room with a smile and says thank you, I know that I have made a difference for that individual.”
Since qualifying, the mum of two has continued to develop her skills, first completing a nursing degree then a non-medical prescribing qualification but most recently undertaking an advanced nurse practitioner course.
During her career, Sharon has been part of several initiatives to improve patient care. In the early 90's, she was part of an effective team to reduce doctors’ hours in the acute trust. By making the best use of the skills and qualifications of an eight-strong elite team, this group of nurses were able to cannulate and administer intravenous antibiotics and chemotherapy; ensuring patients were given gold standard care in a timely manner.
Sharon has a passion and commitment to ensure the next generation of nurses are equipped to provide up to date, best evidence care to patients. She works closely with Plymouth University in their student nurse program as well as being a guest speaker. Sharon is also a 'sign off' mentor for those students who are nearing completion of their training and has delivered speeches for NHS England.
She added: “I have been unconditionally supported throughout my career by my family. Now I want to provide that support to other nurses so they feel encouraged to carry on the great work they do every day and inspire new nurses into primary care.”
The Queen’s Nurse award is presented every year by the community nursing charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute. (QNI)
Dr Crystal Oldman, chief executive of the QNI, said: “Congratulations are due to Sharon for her success.
“Community nurses are expert professionals who make a vital contribute to patient health and wellbeing every day. As a national charity the QNI can share innovation and best practice, supporting nurses to deliver excellent healthcare to patients in local communities.”
It is now 10 years since QN title was reintroduced, after a gap of almost 40 years and there are currently more than 1,200 community nurses with the title.
Nurses who work in the community or primary care can apply for the title, including district nurses, practice nurses, nurse educators and lecturers, managers, school nurses, health visitors, nursing homes nurses and many more.
Submissions for this year’s Queen’s Nurses will be open soon and more information is available from www.qni.org.uk/nursing-in-the-community/queens-nurses/