A nurse with NHS Borders has been royally recognised for her specialist skills, hard work and dedication.
Rachel Gardiner, a community learning disability nurse, has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Nurse title.
As one of 29 community nurses selected by The Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) Rachel was nominated to join the programme for demonstrating high quality, compassionate care in the Borders community.
Rachel is part of a cohort of eight specialist learning disability nurses chosen from across Scotland to come together for a nine-month transformational development journey to become Queen’s Nurses.
They are currently working on a joint project to support those with a learning disability who find themselves involved with the criminal justices system, or on the fringes of it.
Rachel, who was awarded the title at a ceremony in Edinburgh, said: “I am very proud to be awarded the Queen’s Nurse title and to be a part of such an inspirational group of nurses who each have something different to bring to the programme. We have been given incredible support by the QNIS and I have been very grateful for their emphasis on self-care and how they make you feel valued.
“The project we are working on is around educating the police and others within the criminal justice fraternity so they have the tools required to identify those who they may think have a learning disability and can then deal with situations appropriately and compassionately.”
Sarah Horan, director of midwifery and allied professionals, said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to Rachel on her award and I know that she has really embraced the challenge of becoming a Queen’s Nurse. The process of being accepted onto the programme isn’t easy and it is testament to Rachel’s hard work that she has been given the title and the opportunities that come with it.
“Five nurses from NHS Borders have been awarded the Queen’s Nurses status since the programme was re-established in 2017. It is a fabulous learning and leadership development opportunity and I hope that more community-based nurses will be successful in future.”
The QNIS was established in 1889, following Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. It was originally the Queen’s Jubilee Institute for Nursing. For 80 years, Queen’s Nurses were trained to provide care for people at home.
In 2017, after a break of 50 years, QNIS reintroduced the Queen’s Nurse title to Scotland.