Regional nurses scoop Hesta prizes

REGIONAL nurses have scooped the pool in the 2012 HESTA Australian Nursing Awards, with winners from Rockhampton (QLD), the Sunshine Coast (QLD)and Bathurst (NSW).

The awards recognise exceptional nursing professionals in the categories of Nurse of the Year, Innovation in Nursing and Graduate Nurse of the Year.

The winners for 2012 are:

Nurse of the Year: Jenny Anderson from Rockhampton Hospital Renal Service,QLD, for her work in rebuilding the Renal Service which was struggling with rapidly-expanding workload and significant nursing workforce issues.

Today, the service has a dynamic team of mainly young nursing staff, assisted by a select band of experienced nurses, which Andersen  "cajoled" out of retirement.

It has moved into new purpose-built premises, established a satellite unit at Gladstone Hospital and significantly expanded home therapy services, allowing many patients to avoid a three-hour drive for treatment.

Innovation in Nursing: Nicholas Ralph, Central Queensland University, QLD, for the Mobile Clinical Learning Unit

Ralph won the prize for developing a multi-functional mobile clinical unit to promote careers in health, facilitate training and education in the community, and undertaking health promotion throughout the Sunshine Coast.

The mobile clinical learning unit — a 10-metre split-level trailer towed by a Chevrolet twin-cab pick-up — houses two sophisticated simulation spaces where qualified professionals can sharpen their skills and members of the public can get a taste of what a career in health has to offer.

The unit will help tackle the health skills shortage, and has the potential to bring training and services to remote areas.

Graduate Nurse of the Year: Brenden Stapleton, from Bathurst Base Hospital, NSW won the Graduate Nurse of the Year award for leadership and enthusiasm that has enriched the lives of patients and staff at a small public hospital in rural NSW.

Nominated for his calm professionalism in emergencies, natural leadership, and non-judgmental approach to patients, Mr Stapleton is passionate about providing high-quality support to patients requiring palliative care and their families.

HESTA CEO Anne-Marie Corboy congratulates the winners, and says the judges had a difficult decision to make with more than 300 excellent nominations and 15 outstanding finalists.

Nurse of the Year and Graduate Nurse of the Year each received a $5,000 ME Bank EveryDay Transaction Account and a $5,000 education grant. The Innovation in Nursing prizewas a $10,000 development grant to enhance or extend the mobile clinical learning unit project.

The prize money was provided by ME Bank, a supporter of the awards since2008.

HESTA is one of Australia's largest superannuation funds HESTA $10k Prize

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