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North Wales nurse shortlisted for top national award

A nurse leader who is passionate about broadening the skills of others in her profession has been shortlisted for a top national award.

Nia Boughton, a Consultant Nurse for Primary Care with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Royal College of Nursing award, under the Advanced Nursing Practice category.

The profession’s top accolades celebrate innovation, skill and dedication in nursing across 15 categories.

The finalists were chosen from 550 entries, and one category winner will receive the coveted title of RCN Nurse of the Year 2021 at an awards ceremony on 12 October.

Nia, who has worked in the profession for over 20 years, has been recognised for her work to improve the quality and consistency of training provided to nurses working in primary care settings across North Wales.

This includes introducing a training framework based on a social model of care – which examines the range of factors that contribute to a person’s health, rather than just their medical presentation.

Upon hearing that she had been shortlisted, Nia said she was ‘smiling from ear to ear’.

“It’s such a great accolade and you just don’t imagine that you would be shortlisted for it,” she said.

“There are some amazing nursing colleagues who have been shortlisted, so I’m really chuffed.

“The strategy for primary care in future is very much a social, rather than a medical model. The workforce needed to deliver that is more allied health professionals, but we need to train them up, and do so in a structured way that gives them the breadth of knowledge and skills to support population health. To do this we need a new way of thinking and a new way of teaching.

“Nurses are inherently holistic in the way we assess patients, so we look at all the context of a person’s health, not just the immediate medical presentation in front of us.

“What makes primary care so fabulous is its proper cradle to grave nursing. It’s really wonderful and there’s no other job like it.”

Practitioners using Nia’s framework have reported a significant improvement in their training experience, while an initial evaluation suggests it has improved patient outcomes and led to greater consistency in the quality of consultations carried out by Advanced Nurse Practitioners.