NURSES from NHS Forth Valley have been named as finalists in a prestigious awards scheme.

The specialist Ward 4 nursing team at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, along with a nursing student at Bo'ness Community Hospital, have made the shortlist in the 2024 RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year Awards.

The Ward 4 team has been selected for Nursing Team of the Year, a category which aims to recognise great nursing, delivered by teams in close partnership with colleagues, patients and other stakeholders.

Working in the mental health unit, the team cares for patients with the most severe presentations of illnesses such as dementia.

They use their skills, care and compassion to help patients maintain as much dignity, quality of life and independence as possible.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: OVERCOMING CHALLENGES: Kasey Saunders is a finalist in the Nursing Student of the Year categoryOVERCOMING CHALLENGES: Kasey Saunders is a finalist in the Nursing Student of the Year category (Image: NHS Forth Valley)

Elsewhere, Kasey Saunders, a nursing assistant in Ward 2 at Bo'ness Community Hospital, has been named as a finalist in the Nursing Student of the Year category.

The award aims to recognise those who have shown exceptional promise during their practice placements and deserve recognition for exceptional achievement during their studies.

Kasey overcame a number of personal challenges, including social anxiety and dyslexia, to fulfil her dream of training to become a nurse.

Despite lacking confidence, she applied to the Open University with support and encouragement, balancing work in a dementia ward with studies.

Accepted as one of three candidates in NHS Forth Valley, Kasey embraced many challenges, participating in various placements, and initiating projects like a carers’ group and a garden restoration for patients.

Over time, she has transformed into a confident and competent nursing student, exceeding expectations with her dedication and compassion.

Despite her dyslexia, Kasey never missed deadlines and her accomplishments are commendable, making her an inspiration to colleagues and those considering a nursing career.

Prof Frances Dodd, executive nurse director at NHS Forth Valley, said: “I’m delighted that the work of local nursing staff and students has been recognised with these prestigious awards. Being selected as finalists is a great achievement and I’m incredibly proud of the work undertaken by local nursing staff and teams across Forth Valley.”

The RCN Scotland Nurse of the Year Awards shine a spotlight on excellence in nursing, celebrating the unwavering commitment and exceptional professional care provided by staff.

Colin Poolman, RCN Scotland director, added: “Our awards are a wonderful occasion and allow us to give some well-deserved recognition for and demonstrate the excellence of nursing staff in Scotland.

“The calibre of submissions was exceptional, and we hope the finalists, as well as anyone who was nominated, feels the love and appreciation people have for the work they do.”

The winners will be revealed at an Edinburgh ceremony on May 23.