Posted on January 2023 By Aaliyah Borgia
Rachel Willis has been a nurse for thirty-two years and is currently the Lead Nurse, for Professional Development in the Community Division for an estimated 900 hospitals in Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. Rachel has been recognised by royalty after being awarded a Queen’s Nurse which is the highest and most reputable recognition in her field.
Ms Willis is a highly established individual within her field and throughout the years has achieved and introduced multiple concepts. An example of this includes launching a training programme permitting junior community nurses to give insulin to patients as well as putting in place a miniature, annual training course to encourage further study.
Rachel received a certificate and gold badge at the ceremony, however, like all the other Queen’s Nurses it must be assessed annually on her work to preserve her regal title.
Ms Willis said, “It’s a real honour and I feel very special. Other than my wedding day and having my children, it’s the best day of my life because having this acknowledgement of hard work means so much.
“I came into the community in the year 2000 and for me, I found my absolute passion. I’ve encouraged so many other people to apply for this, but I also decided to do it myself.
“They say it’s not recognition for what you’ve done but for what you’ve committed to doing in the future, because you’re promoting standards and community care.
“I have a vision for the community division; we look at how we can develop staff and help them reach their potential and ensure a high standard of care across the board.”
“It’s also about the doors it opens because you have to stay connected to all the other Queen’s Nurses, so it’s an opportunity to share good practice and implement change,” added Rachel. “I can also network with people there and work on projects – I’ve already made connections with people from the award ceremony.”
Additionally, Rachel is also a professional Nurse Advocate also known as (PNA), a programme which provides training and corrective supervision for colleagues and has increased her understanding of problems nurses encounter on a day-to-day basis, helping her come up with the solutions to these issues.