A nurse working for veterans’ charity Erskine has been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse.
Pauline McIntyre, Deputy Director of Care at Erskine, was selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).
She was nominated by her employer for her inspirational leadership in encouraging and supporting nursing and care within Erskine and for being a constant advocate for improvement with residents at the heart of decisions.
After completing the programme successfully, Pauline was awarded the historic Queen’s Nurse title along with 19 other community nurses from across Scotland at a ceremony in Edinburgh on Thursday (November 28).
Pauline, from Port Glasgow, has been at Erskine since 2003 after 16 years working as a nurse in the NHS.
In her role she supports the Director of Care over the four homes and leads the quality improvement team as well as responding to any residents needs or concerns.
She said: “The development opportunities on my Queen’s Nurse journey have helped me to speak out with confidence and passion about nursing.
“Working in a care home is a privilege – I work in the residents’ home. The skills and experience I have gained over the years have helped me develop to be the skilled nurse I am today.
“I would encourage anyone, whether newly qualified or experienced, to choose care home nursing in their career. Care homes are one of the greatest experiences you will have, teaching you about people and about relationships.
“A care home is a place where you will learn about the lives of those you are there to care for, you’ll hear about their achievements, about hopes and dreams, about fulfilled and unfulfilled ambitions. Fundamentally a care home placement puts caring at the very centre of your learning.”
Erskine Director of Care Derek Barron said: “We are extremely proud of Pauline being awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse, an award made special in that Her Majesty the Queen personally signs each certificate.
“Our residents are at the heart of Pauline’s approach, every day. She is a leader who inspires her colleagues to be the very best they can be. Pauline’s development project, as part of her Queen’s Nurse journey, is developing a memory box which will be a gift from Erskine to families, related to the time when we were privileged to care for their relative.
“This award is a further example of the dynamic role of a Care Home Nurse, a role Pauline is both a proud and worthy advocate of.”
Other community nurses in this year’s group include a Macmillan nurse, a nurse working in homeless services, a dementia specialist nurse, as well as district nurses, health visitors, school nurses and practice nurses.
They were all presented with their title by author Christie Watson at the ceremony at Edinburgh’s Waldorf Astoria hotel.
It marks only the third time the honour has been made in Scotland in almost 50 years following the reintroduction of the title in 2017.
Pauline’s award is the second time an Erskine nurse has received the Queen’s Nurse title. Lesley Wylie, the manager of Erskine’s dementia specialist home in Bishopton was presented with the award in 2018.
In 2019 the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland is celebrating its 130th anniversary. The original Queen’s Nurses provided care and health education to people in their own homes and became well respected figures within their community.
Following the introduction of a national certificate for district nursing, QNIS ceased training, awarding the QN title for the final time in 1969.
However, the decision was made to reintroduce Queen’s Nurses to Scotland in 2017, with 20 community nurses chosen to take part in a development programme which would see them become the first modern Queen’s Nurses.
The process involves employers nominating a community-based nurse who will go forward for interview following a successful written application.
The programme consists of a week-long residential workshop followed by two further workshops and coaching sessions in between. Each nurse selects an issue for development which will have a significant impact on those they care for, so that the learning during the nine months is applied in practice.
Clare Cable, QNIS Chief Executive and Nurse Director, said: “Three years on from reintroducing the Queen’s Nurse title to Scotland, we now have 61 Queen’s Nurses working in communities across the country.
“They are extraordinary role models for nursing in the community and show the enormous contribution which nurses make to the health of Scotland’s people.
“This year’s Queen’s Nurses demonstrate the diversity of community nursing roles, with the welcome addition of Queen’s Nurses working in learning disabilities, and sexual health for the first time.
“They are all expert community nurses – change makers across the country.”