Debra Vickers

A Western Isles community nurse has been selected to take part in a special professional development programme which will earn her the right to use the coveted Queen’s Nurse title.

Debra Vickers, who works as the BHF Cardiac Specialist Nurse (Lead Nurse), is one of 20 community nurses selected by The Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) to join the first cohort of 21st century Queen’s Nurses.

On completion of the programme, they will be the first nurses to receive the title in Scotland for almost 50 years.

The modern Queen’s Nurses, drawn from Health Boards and other independent organisations across Scotland, will enable teams to promote health improvement and deliver quality care.

“The shift towards providing more care closer to people’s homes offers exciting opportunities for the further development of community nursing,” says NHS Western Isles Nurse Director, Chris Anne Campbell.

Once they have completed the QNIS development programme, the modern Queen’s Nurses will support new models of care to promote health improvement and local delivery of services.

 “All the nurses who are taking part in our programme have demonstrated their impact as experienced practitioners and clinical leaders,” says Clare Cable, Chief Executive and Nurse Director of QNIS. “Now they want to further enhance their professional skills by really making a difference for Scotland’s communities as Queen’s Nurses.”

“With health policy rapidly shifting the balance of care towards care at home, it is an opportune time to highlight the important contribution of community nurses,” says Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer, Fiona McQueen. “The return of Queen’s Nurse title is a very welcome mark of professional excellence.”

QNIS was established by Queen Victoria in 1889 in honour of her Golden Jubilee. Historically, the Queen’s Nurse title was awarded to nurses who completed training that equipped them to work in the community. They provided healthcare and health promotion to people in their own homes, and were well respected in the communities in which they practised.

The new Queen’s Nurses will take part in a nine-month programme, developing and honing their existing skills and capabilities, culminating in an Awards Ceremony in December.