Contribution to the community earns lecturer prestigious title

A senior lecturer at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been given the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse (QN) by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI).

Learning Disability Nursing lecturer, Sam Humphrey, is among a select few to be awarded the Queen’s Nurse title in recognition of his dedication to improving patient care within the community.

Sam Humphrey 560

Sam with Professor Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu

The title of Queen’s Nurse is available to registered nurses with more than five years’ nursing experience who can demonstrate a high level of commitment to patient care. Line managers and students provide feedback about applicants which is assessed along with their application.

The award is decided by the QNI, a registered charity which brings nurses together to develop their professional skills and deliver outstanding patient care in the community.

On Friday 6 December, Sam travelled down to London to receive his award. Professor Dame Elizabeth Nneka Anionwu, Vice-President of the QNI, presented the newly appointed nurses with their awards.

Talking about how it felt to receive the Queen’s Nurse title, Sam said: “It felt like a big honour. Sometimes, the work I do as a nurse educator doesn’t always feel like the most hands-on of nursing and isn’t the traditional view people have of nurses, so to be recognised for that felt like I was getting that professional recognition of the importance of the education community.

“There are just under 2,500 Queen’s Nurses across the UK so obviously joining that small number is really nice and makes you feel a little bit special that you’ve been recognised for your speciality.”

The QNI is the longest standing professional nursing organisation and was founded to organise the training of district nurses. The Queen’s Nurse title was a qualification that was given to district nurses upon completing their training.

In 1968, the QNI stopped offering the qualification, and the title was no longer available. It returned in 2007 in a completely different form and was then open to all community nurses.

Now it is a formal recognition that applicants use as part of a professional network of nurses to show their commitment to delivering and leading outstanding care in the community.

Speaking about the process of becoming a Queen’s Nurse today, Sam said: “It feels like a bit of self-adulation because you apply to do it yourself.

“But they ask you a number of questions, and you have to get feedback from other people including line managers and students.

“They also ask you how you would see community nursing in the future and that spoke to a lot the stuff that I teach in the university, so the application process wasn’t as scary as I thought."

Sam Humphrey 560 2

Apart from Sam and four other colleagues within The Leicester School of Nursing and Midwifery, it is thought that there are very few Learning Disability Nurses working in education who hold the Queen’s Nurse title, which Sam thinks helped to make his application stand out more.

“I initially thought that it was mostly for nurses working in a clinical practice and wasn’t sure if I was eligible but my colleague, Helen, has been a Queen’s Nurse for a number of years and suggested that I apply.

“That’s actually what motivated me because I thought I might be one of the few nurses working in education that could still get the Queen’s Nurse award.

“They count things that we do with students as activeness in practice and actually we’re in a unique role to pass on those skills and knowledge to the future generations of nurses who go on to work in the community.”

Upon receiving the title Queen’s Nurse, Sam and other title holders are given access to a supportive professional network, free developmental programme, bursaries, a regional QN group, and other learning and leadership opportunities.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the QNI said: "On behalf of the QNI I would like to congratulate Sam and welcome him as a Queen’s Nurse.

"Queen’s Nurses serve as leaders and role models in community nursing, delivering high quality health care across the country.

"The application and assessment process to become a Queen’s Nurse is rigorous and requires clear commitment to improving care for patients, their families and carers. We look forward to working with Sam and all other new Queen’s Nurses who have received the title this year."

Posted on Friday 26 January 2024

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