Unsung heroes recognised in 2006 Australian Nursing Awards

Australia's top nurses honoured

Australia's top nurses, the unsung heroes of the Australian medical system, were recognised for their achievements today at the Australian Nursing Awards in Brisbane. The awards were the highlight of a ceremony at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital to mark the start of International Nurses Week.

The Australian Nursing Awards for 2006 featured three award categories - the Hesta Professional Development scholarship, the National Care Award, and the sanofi aventis Student Achievement Award.

The Hesta Professional Development scholarship was won by Linzi Donlan, the National Care Award by Rosanne Squire, while the sanofi aventis Student Achievement Award was shared between the three finalists, Sharise (Jade) Larosa, Megan McLaughlin and Karen Wesley.

Initiated by HealthStaff Recruitment in 2002 to shine the spotlight on the high standards of commitment and patient care within the nursing sector, and supported by the Australian Nursing Federation, the Australian Nursing Awards recognise and reward excellence in nursing practice and encourage skill development and advancement in the profession.

John de Haard, Managing Director of HealthStaff Recruitment, said, "Nurses are the backbone of the Australian medical system. They work tirelessly to save lives and to provide physical, mental and emotional care to patients and the families of patients".

"Australia is fortunate to have a highly skilled nursing workforce, over many areas of specialisation, providing support to the entire community. These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of nurses, and the contribution they make to our community".

The Hesta Professional Development scholarship recognised three finalists, selected from hundreds of nominations. The winner of the 2006 award and $5,000 prize money, Linzi Donlan, an emergency nurse from Portland, Victoria, plans to use her prize money to help her complete her Master of Advanced Nursing degree at Melbourne University.

The two other finalists in the Hesta Professional Development scholarship, Sonia Bisson, an oncology nurse from Port Macquarie, New South Wales and Angela Castle, an accredited Stomal Therapy nurse from Hobart, Tasmania, each received $2,500 in prize money.

The second award category, the National Care Award, rewarded excellence in nursing practice. Nominations were accepted from patients, the families and friends of patients and from the colleagues of nurses to recognise those nurses who give exceptional care to their patients.

National Care Award winner Rosanne Squire of McLeans Ridge, New South Wales, the Deputy Director of Nursing at the Lismore Base Hospital, received $1,500 in prize money. The other finalists in this category were Deanne Schofield of Bentleigh East, Victoria, Sandra McGuire of Endeavour Hills, Victoria and Monica O'Kane of Lilydale, Victoria, each receiving $500.

The third Australian Nursing Award category for 2006 was the sanofi aventis Student Achievement Award. This category rewards achievement in the academic arena, as well as providing encouragement to student nurses to continue their commitment to their career in nursing.

The three finalists in the sanofi - aventis Student Achievement Award were nominated by their universities and each received a prize of $500 (there was no winner awarded in this category). The three finalists in this category were Jade Larosa from the University of Tasmania, Karen Wesley from Monash University and Megan McLaughlin from Queensland University of Technology.

While the Australian Nursing Awards celebrated individual nursing achievements, they also presented a fantastic opportunity to pause for reflection on, and to raise national awareness of, the enormously important, often unsung, contribution that the nursing profession as a whole has made to the community.


Released on behalf of the Australian Nursing Awards by Crossman Communications.

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