Thursday, May 16, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Awards Recognise Nurses’ Care, Compassion And Commitment

They are the heart and soul of the healthcare system and last Friday Mackay Hospital and Health Service recognised the care, commitment and compassion delivered by nurses across the region.

International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12 each year on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

The annual Mackay HHS International Nurses Day Awards acknowledged nurses for their vital roles in our communities and dedication to achieving health outcomes for patients.

There were more than 1500 nurses working in hospitals, multi-purpose and community health facilities across the region, constituting more than 50 per cent of the workforce, Acting Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery Paul McAllister said.

“International Nurses Day is a time to formally honour and acknowledge the incredible work nurses do on the frontline of care,” Mr McAllister said.

“We thank them for their care and compassion, healing touch and for always putting your patients first.

“Thank you for providing an empathetic ear and compassionate hand when a life-changing diagnosis is delivered; for the commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism you bring each and every day to our patients and communities.

“To all nursing students, enrolled nurses, registered nurses, midwives, nurse practitioners, nurse managers, educators and leaders – thank you for the work that you do and Happy International Nurses Day,” he said.

The Mackay HHS International Nurses Day Awards recognise staff who demonstrate excellence in practice and the significant contributions they make to their professions, their teams and the community across six award categories.


McFadzen Perpetual Award

This award is sponsored by the Auxillary and recognises the skills and contributions of a nurse from the Mackay Base Hospital. The award recipient will receive $1000 for professional development purposes. 2024 WINNER: Jenny Seymour, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Infection Prevention.

Clinical Nurse Specialty Award

The Clinical Nurse Speciality Award is sponsored by Robyn Nikolsky, a past nurse who is extremely passionate about the nursing profession who personally donates $250 to be spent on professional development. This category is for a clinical nurse across the Mackay HHS. 2024 WINNER: Chelsey Presley, Clinical Nurse Consultant Post Operative Discharge Support Service (PODSS) and Jeannine Gierke Registered Nurse, Intensive Care Unit

Clinical Excellence Award – Rural

This award specifically recognises a rural nurse who demonstrates an advanced level of skill in a rural hospital. They identify in an area of clinical nursing skills which directly improves patient care through direct care, education of the patients and staff, innovation, research or impact on community health issues. 2024 WINNER: Shannon Breckon, Nurse Navigator Northern, Bowen Hospital

Clinical Excellence Award – Nurse Unit Manager

This is a new category that specifically recognises a nurse unit manager who oversees day-to-day patient care, supervising, directing and developing our Mackay HHS nurse staff, while also educating and inspiring individuals to become leaders who act with integrity, fostering quality and research, promoting wellness and advocate for the best possible experiences for people and the communities. 2024 WINNER: Heather Skien, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Oncology Day Unit.

Excellence in Patient Care Award

This is a new category that recognises a nurse with excellent clinical nursing skills as evidenced by feedback from patients, peers and colleagues. 2024 WINNER: Dolores Ramsamy, Nurse Practitioner, Renal Unit,

CQUniversity 2023 Graduate of the Year Award

This award is to recognise the skills and contributions of a 2022 graduate nurse. The $500 prize is donated by CQUniversity to be used to improve knowledge and skills in nursing or midwifery. 2024 WINNER: – Sara Herringe, Registered Nurse, Emergency Department.

JCU Award – Outstanding Support Award (Department)

Bowen Hospital

JCU Award – Outstanding Support Award

Julie Philipson, Nurse Unit Manager, Patient Flow and Access Service

International Nurses Day Award winners from left, Dolores Ramsamy (Excellence in Patient Care Award), Heather Skien (Clinical Excellence Award – Nurse Unit Manager) and Jenny Seymour (McFadzen Perpetual Trophy)

Mackay HHS chief executive Susan Gannon and Dolores Ramsamy (Excellence in Patient Care award)

McFadzen Perpetual Trophy winner Jenny Seymour with Mackay Base Hospital auxillary members Brenda and Cameron McFadzen

Chelsey Presley (Clinical Nurse Speciality Award winner)

Heather Skien (Clinical Excellence Award – Nurse Unit Manager)

In other news