Forth Valley School Nurse Receives Honour of Queen’s Nurse Title

A local nurse is among a group of 20 to have been awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse, marking the first time the honour has been made in Scotland for almost 50 years.

Joan Gracie, who works as Team Leader for School Nursing in NHS Forth Valley, was selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS).

Each of the community nurses were nominated by their managers for providing high quality, compassionate care.

Joan manages the school nursing service in Stirling and Clackmannanshire and oversees a team made up of a Health Care Assistant, a family support worker, two counsellors and 10 Staff Nurses.

Between them they offer support to around 500 families a year.

Joan, from Stirling, said: “I regard the Queen’s Nurse title as a great honour and feel very inspired and enthused by the values that underpin Queen’s Nursing.

“It’s an affirmation of what I do, and an encouragement to be braver and bolder.

“I’m feeling inspired to take back all the learning to share with my team who have supported me throughout the process.”

After completing the QNIS programme, Joan has earned the right to use the Queen’s Nurse title which dates back to the late 19th century when nurses trained at institutes across Scotland until 1969.

She is among the 20 new Queen’s Nurses gaining the title to be presented with a certificate and badge by Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith during the QNIS awards ceremony in Edinburgh on December 1.

Other community nurses in the group from across Scotland include a midwife caring for asylum seeking mothers in Glasgow, a nurse in police custody, practice and district nurses, a mental health nurse, health visitors, a care home and a Parish nurse.

Clare Cable, Chief Executive and Nurse Director of QNIS, said: “These 20 exceptional individuals can be deservedly proud of being awarded this prestigious title.

“From the late 1880s, Queen’s Nurses were social reformers who were taking public health into people’s homes to help families take better care of themselves. The modern Queen’s Nurses are building on this proud heritage – sharing this pioneering spirit to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities of Scotland.

“Their roles vary, from bringing care to some of society’s most vulnerable and marginalised groups to supporting people in mental distress or end of life care.

“They represent the geography of Scotland, from rural communities and small islands to concentrated areas within the big cities, but they all demonstrate nursing excellence which makes a real difference to the lives of the people they work with.”