AN ABERYSTWYTH University lecturer has been nominated for the Royal College of Nursing Nurse of the Year award for her work to improve the care of children and young people with life-shortening conditions and their families.
Newly appointed as a nursing lecturer at Aberystwyth University, Nicole Crimmings worked for Tŷ Hafan children’s hospice in the Vale of Glamorgan before moving west.
Her nomination in the annual Royal College of Nursing Wales Nurse of the Year Awards is for her and her colleague’s pioneering work in forging a partnership between Tŷ Hafan hospice and the Paediatric Critical Care Unit at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff, and Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation.
The changes improved end-of-life care for children and young people with life-shortening conditions and their families. The partnership gave more opportunities for bereaved families and friends to spend quality time with patients at the hospice after organ donation and share memories.
Nicole Crimmings has 27 years’ nursing experience having worked at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest, Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and University of Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. She specialises in paediatric nursing and paediatric intensive care.
Reacting to the prestigious nomination, Nicole Crimmings, nursing lecturer at Aberystwyth University, said:
“The nomination for my Tŷ Hafan colleague and I is very humbling. We hope that our work will go on to help many families who go through such difficult times. It has been a privilege to work in the NHS and the charity sector for so many years. Like so many others, we just seek to make as a much of a difference as we can. In my new teaching role in Aberystwyth, I hope to share some of that experience with the next generation of nurses entrusted to care for some of our most vulnerable children and adults.”
Explaining the benefits of the partnership she helped establish, Nicole Crimmings said:
“With strengthened relationships in place between the Paediatric Critical Care Unit and Tŷ Hafan, it was far easier to refer children who were nearing the end of their life, due to illness or a traumatic injury, at an earlier stage. So, instead of loved ones saying their farewell at the operating theatre doors, they could do so in the hospice, a more personal and less medical environment. The bereaved could also receive ongoing, specific support for as long as they wished, as they face the enormous difficulties when children and young people die. It also gives them the opportunity to better share memories with their friends and family, and those memories will last a lifetime.”
Amanda Jones, Aberystwyth University’s Principal Lead in Healthcare Education, added:
“These nominations are a testament to the exceptional importance of Nicole’s work in the health service and the charity sector. I’m sure her work will be an inspiration to our students and staff here as they go on to serve us all in the NHS in the years ahead.”
The Royal College of Nursing awards night will be held in Cardiff on 29 June. Nicole Crimmings has been nominated for the Suzanne Goodall Paediatric Palliative Care Nursing Award as well as the overall RCN Wales Nurse of the Year award.