Registered Nurse Sally Smith, from The Tweed Hospital was honoured with the Excellence in Nursing Graduate Award at the seventh annual Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards in Sydney on 1 October.

Sally was one of 13 nurses and midwives acknowledged for their outstanding contribution to the New South Wales health system.

Sally was nominated by her colleagues for her strong team and work ethic, her excellent ability to build positive rapport with patients, and for being a role model on the wards.

“I was honoured to be named as a finalist and to have been announced as the winner was very unexpected and thrilling at the same time,” Sally said.

Sally praised the unwavering support from everyone at The Tweed Hospital, especially the team on the Surgical 1 ward.

“Graduate nursing is a challenging yet rewarding experience, and to have my efforts recognised at this level by my peers and senior management is a little overwhelming,” Sally said.

“I am looking forward to a long and rewarding career with NSW Health and am excited to see what the future holds.”

The winners were chosen from among 43 finalists, including nine from regional and rural NSW, across 12 categories ranging from excellence in practice, to clinical leadership and innovation in research.

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard presented the awards to the 2019 winners at the ceremony in Sydney.

“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.

“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.”

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.

The winners in all categories were:

  1. Excellence in Nursing/Midwifery – Assistant in Nursing/Midwifery: Meenakshi Baveja, The Children’s Hospital Westmead, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network
  2. Excellence in Nursing – Enrolled Nurse: Neil Keenan, Campbelltown Hospital and Joshua Paroz, Campbelltown Hospital, South Western Sydney Local Health District (joint winners)
  3. Excellence in Nursing/Midwifery Graduate Award: Sally Smith, The Tweed Hospital, Northern NSW Local Health District
  4. Excellence in Nursing – Registered Nurse: Kerry Devine, Westmead Hospital, Western Sydney Local Health District
  5. Excellence in Midwifery – Registered Midwife: Susan Guinane, NSW Health Pathology, NSW Health
  6. Excellence in Nursing or Midwifery – Clinical Leadership: Jane Barr, Sydney Hospital & Sydney Eye Hospital, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
  7. Excellence in Nursing or Midwifery Management: Brian Lane, Camden and Campbelltown Hospital, South Western Sydney Local Health District
  8. Excellence in Innovation – in Education: Rowena Mitchell, South East Regional Hospital, Southern NSW Local Health District
  9. Excellence in Innovation – in Research: Michelle Barakat-Johnson, Sydney Local Health District
  10. Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healthcare: Elise McCarthy-McPhan, Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network
  11. Judith Meppem Lifetime Achievement Award: Marion Hawker, Greater Newcastle Sector Community and Aged Care Services, Hunter New England Local Health District
  12. Consumer Appreciation Award: Matt Tinker, Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Sydney Local Health District.

For more information on the 2019 Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery Awards visit the NSW Health website, here.

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