Debbie White, a community rehabilitation nurse in Barnstaple, has been awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse.
The Queen’s Nurse (QN) title is awarded to community nurses who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to patient care and nursing practice.
Debbie was presented with her Queen’s Nurse badge and certificate by Dr Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, at an awards ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.
Debbie said: “I am so proud to be awarded the title of Queens’s Nurse – it is a real honour and is so humbling. The title embodies the high level of commitment to my patient care and practice that I strive for every day.
“I really enjoy my role, and I want to help people live their lives to the fullest. I enjoy getting to know people and understanding what matters to them, walking alongside them through their journey offering care, support, advice, education and a friendly face.”
Debbie has been working at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) for 33 years in a variety of nursing roles. She worked on Alexandra Ward at North Devon District Hospital when it was a rehabilitation ward for older people. With the advancements of nursing practice, a lot of rehabilitation can now be delivered in people’s homes.
Debbie played a key role in developing the rehabilitation service in the community, which is now known as the health and social care team. Both nurses and therapists provide support to people at home, helping them to remain well and maintain their independence, which prevents them being admitted to hospital unnecessarily. The team also helps people being discharged from hospital, allowing them to rehabilitate in their own, familiar space and regain their independence more quickly.
Darryn Allcorn, chief nurse at NDHT, said: “Debbie has shown an outstanding level of commitment to caring for our patients in the community and supporting them to maintain their independence at home. Congratulations to Debbie for this fantastic recognition of her work – it is truly well deserved.”
Debbie joins a national network of supportive and caring Queen’s Nurses, including nursing colleagues working in Lynton, Holsworthy, Torrington and Bideford, and in specialist nursing areas such as care home staff training and support for patients with learning disabilities.
Queen’s Nurses benefit from development workshops, bursaries, networking and other opportunities.
The title is given following an application process which includes feedback about the individual from managers and patients.