Three nurses from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust have been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse (QN).

Louise Mead, Julie Potts, and Sam Screaton were notified that they’d beat off thousands of other applicants to be awarded the accolade, which is only given to nurses, health visitors and midwives with at least five years’ experience of working in the community and who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to patient care and nursing practice.

The title means the nurses are now part of The Queen’s Nursing Institute, a body which is committed to learning, leadership and excellence in patient care, as well as having the influence and ability to impact on national health policies.

They will get the opportunity to take part in a programme to develop their skills and learning, connect them to a supportive network of other health professionals and attend the Queen’s Nurse annual meeting, as well as regional QN groups.

Sam Screaton, who is a learning disability nurse at the Trust and has been practising for 20 years, said: “I am so thrilled to have been awarded the Queen’s Nurse title. I have a job that I love and I have a lot of passion for it – not many people can say that. Being a Queen’s Nurse is a real privilege, but actually, being a learning disability nurse is even more so. I hope I will get to raise the profile of what learning disability nurses do.”

Earlier this year, Sam was instrumental in setting up specialist learning disability COVID-19 vaccination clinics, which were later nominated for a Nursing Times Award. Sam added: “The thing I’m most looking forward to is having the ability to influence policy. In my work I see a lot of health inequality and so I want to do what I can to change things for the better. That was something I wanted to do when planning the COVID-19 clinics too – I didn’t want to see a group of people left out, so we made sure we went the extra mile to support them in whatever way we could.”

Julie Potts, who is the Diana service children’s palliative care nurse lead at the Trust, said: “I started in the Diana Community Children’s Service in 1998 after completing my degree in Community Children’s Nursing. My role is to support my Diana service colleagues in the coordination and delivery of palliative and end of life care for children, young people and their families.

“Throughout the years I feel I have put my heart and soul into the service and have been keen to support developments to improve service provision. I am continually working towards improving the care we offer and acting as an advocate for the families we care for. I’m honoured to have been given this title, but more importantly, recognised by my colleagues and the families I care for as worthy of it.”

Louise, district nurse on ward 10 at Hinckley Community Hospital, is also thrilled to receive the accolade. Louise, who started her nursing training in 1990, said: “Having worked in a variety of roles, I found community nursing provided the most variety and is a specialism in its own right. I started my role in community nursing in 2006 and have been very fortunate to have worked with some wonderful colleagues and nurses.

“My husband and I decided to relocate to Leicestershire in 2019 to be closer to our daughter, just before the pandemic began. Having worked and lived in Wales throughout most of my career, I was fortunate to secure a role in district nursing in Leicestershire. This has provided a great opportunity to transfer the skills, knowledge and expertise gained whilst working in Wales, yet embrace new ways of working that England has to offer. I have had a wonderful career in nursing and am humbled to have been awarded the Queen’s Nurse award, after a career spanning 30 years. The Queen’s Nurse award is an exciting opportunity to help provide and influence clinical practice development and standards. I hope it will be a platform on which to continue to promote good leadership, high standards and access learning, education and further development within community nursing.

“Linking with the Queen’s Nursing community will help facilitate an opportunity to access a wider network of others working in the community nursing sector, and through which to encourage new recruits into a rewarding career of nursing. This is such a special award and achievement, and I am thankful for wonderful opportunity.”

The three nurses will be formally recognised at a virtual celebratory ceremony on Monday 13 December.

Find out more about the Queen’s Nursing Institute and the Queen’s Nurse programme.