'Ground-breaking' Northern Trust's Vicky Burns named Nurse of the Year

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A ‘ground-breaking’ nurse from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust has been named Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year for 2023.

Vicky Burns’ achievement at the annual event, organised by the Royal College of Nursing Northern Ireland, capped a hugely successful evening which celebrated nursing excellence and the contribution of nursing staff to health and well-being.

As a pioneer in her field, Vicky is the first and only nurse Hysteroscopist in Northern Ireland, who has been praised for her unwavering determination, dynamism and positive attitude, as well as her strong motivation to develop a new service that has significantly improved the experiences of women.

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Suzanne Pullins, Executive Director of Nursing at the Northern Trust, said she was hugely deserving of her new title: “Vicky is a fantastic role model demonstrating the very best of nursing expertise and leadership, and she has shown how to truly lead the way when it comes to caring for patients and ensuring women get appropriate and timely treatment to achieve the best outcomes.

Vicky Burns (Centre) pictured with Maria McIlgorm and Pat Cullen. Credit: Royal College of NursingVicky Burns (Centre) pictured with Maria McIlgorm and Pat Cullen. Credit: Royal College of Nursing
Vicky Burns (Centre) pictured with Maria McIlgorm and Pat Cullen. Credit: Royal College of Nursing

“Her work shines a light on the enhanced role of nurses in the healthcare system, and her innovative approach to women’s health has offered patients a valuable intervention and enhanced access to the services they require.

“The Northern Trust is very proud of our staff, and it was especially rewarding for us to have three nurses shortlisted in this prestigious category, as well as having runners-up in two others, which highlights the depth of knowledge, skill and expertise which exists across our service areas.”

Vicky said she was honoured to win, and it was a privilege to be a part of gynae services: “I don’t feel like I have won it for me, I feel like I have won it for my team.

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"At a time when there is so much publicity about women’s health and menopause, and the struggles women go through in their day-to-day life, I am so thankful for the team I have that supported me, from the top down, to set-up the nurse-led service that we now have.”

Also shortlisted in the Nurse of the Year category were Helen Davis, Surgical Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and Nicola Loughlin, Delirium Nurse Co-ordinator, who were both commended on the night.