A record number of nurses were awarded the Queen's Nurse title in a ceremony hosted by the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) at The Commonwealth club in London last night.

The QNI, who is celebrating its 125th anniversary year, holds the cermony twice yearly to mark the achievements of nurses who are making real impact on improving patient care in people's homes and communities either as Queens Nurses, project leaders or award winners.

Professor Jane Salvage, Chair-designate of the QNI, awarded 42 nurses The Queen's Nurses title. She said: "Despite many uncertainties, one thing is certain: the need and desire for skilled community nursing is huge, and is growing. Whether it is creating the best start in life for a young child, or managing a long-term condition like diabetes or depression, or reaching the end of life, most of the time it is better to do this at home and in the community than in hospital.

"I want to encourage all those nurses who are potential award winners but don't make it because of lack of self belief, or lack of support from their employers. The public are not always aware of the complexities and challenges of delivering great care, but we know that community nurses do a wonderful job in very tough times."

Claire M. Aston, Tessa Fitzpatrick and Joan Myers all received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Award for Outstanding Service, presented by the QNI's Chair of Council, Rosalynde Lowe CBE.

The QNI also used the occasion to launch its special anniversary publication "QNI 125", a limited edition booklet tracing the history of the Institute and of district nursing, and featuring archive photographs and letters that have never previously been published.

Posted by Penny Hosie