USW student honoured at RCN awards

Tyler Payne wins RCN Nursing STudent of the Year 2017

Tyler Payne receiving her award.


A UNIVERSITY of South Wales student has won the Nursing Student Award at the RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year.

Tyler Payne, who is studying Learning Disabilities Nursing, scooped the award at a glittering ceremony which was held at Cardiff City Hall last night. Sophie Burgess, who is studying adult nursing at Bangor University, was runner-up.

“I’ve had fantastic support at Uni and been fortunate to work with some brilliant mentors and top-notch teams on placements,” Tyler said.

“I’m also lucky to have very special family and friends, and reaching the finals this year helps pay back some of the faith they’ve shown in me. I owe them a great deal.”

The event saw the a number of health care workers from across Wales honoured for their hard work and commitment.

Louise Walby was named Wales Nurse of the Year 2017 at the Sixth Annual RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year Awards, held in recognition of her work in tackling some of the worst mortality rates from chronic lung disease in Britain.

Louise, a respiratory nurse facilitator with Cwm Taf University Health Board, emerged as the overall winner of the evening.

Vaughan Gething AM, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, presented the award alongside Steve Ham, Chief Executive at Velindre NHS Trust - which sponsored the award this year - RCN Chief Executive and General Secretary Janet Davies FRCN, RCN President Cecilia Anim CBE, RCN Wales Board Chair Gaynor Jones, and Director of RCN Wales, Tina Donnelly CBE, TD DL, FRCN.

Louise works in the area of the Welsh valleys that has the fourth worst mortality figures in Britain for chronic lung disease. She helped to improve early recognition and intervention for high-risk patients, visiting 50 GP practices to work with practice nurses and doctors, delivering accredited training to improve the diagnosis of conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

Louise is credited with improving the whole patient experience and management of COPD, something that impacts across the whole region. Her work has been recognised at a national level and is being used as an exemplar of best practice across Wales.

The awards event evening was a fantastic success – with accolades handed out in 17 categories, including a Lifetime Achievement Award for Tanya Strange MBE, Divisional Nurse, Primary Care and Networks, with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board as well as the Wales Nurse of the Year Award, all commending a range of nursing practice in Wales.

The event also saw the official launch of an innovative initiative, the RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year Alumni Network, by Dr Andrew Goodall, Director General Health and Social Services Group and Chief Executive NHS Wales. 

This will offer a clear pathway of personal and career development opportunities and exposure. The Alumni Network will create a highly-engaged consortium of innovative nurse leaders who will promote nursing within Wales and externally, both nationally and internationally. This will lead to a career profile of exceptional achievers who will, through the art and science of nursing, ensure the safe delivery of contemporary practice, based on rigorous and robust evidence.

Tina Donnelly, Director of the RCN in Wales, said: “Dedicated nurses are making a huge difference to the lives of their patients all across Wales every moment of the day, and Louise Walby is a shining example of that kind of commitment and care.

“The Royal College of Nursing in Wales is proud to recognise the achievements of the nursing family across Wales and Louise is an extremely worthy recipient of the highest honour we can award.

“As RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year 2017 she demonstrates the very best of what nurses can achieve. In common with all her colleagues, she makes a positive difference and does so with competence and compassion. I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Louise – and to all of our award winners and shortlisted nominees. You are all a credit to the nursing profession.

“In addition Louise, and all other RCN in Wales Nurse of the year finalists will benefit from membership of our RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year Alumni Network, gaining support and career development opportunities from us and our partner organisations, demonstrating that achieving one of our awards is only the beginning.”

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