Please read the latest coronavirus advice before visiting any of the hospice sites.

Nominate a pioneering nurse

As part of our celebration of palliative nursing in 2020 we invite you to nominate a nurse

Please note: Nominations have now closed

Quick links

Identifying and showcasing pioneering nurses

  • We will identify and celebrate key attributes in the work of Florence Nightingale that we would like to see in contemporary pioneering nurses; where these attributes are evident in other pioneering nurses such as Dame Cicely Saunders we want to highlight those too
  • We will create and showcase a network of pioneering nurses from around the world who demonstrate some of these attributes and are driving palliative nursing forward to change the experience of people approaching the end of life. They will be people who are changing the face of end of life care and at the cutting edge of this work
  • Where appropriate, we will consider how we can facilitate or support any further development they may require to help them achieve even more in the future.

What makes a pioneering nurse?

We’ve identified a list of eight key attributes that we believe make a nurse truly pioneering. These attributes were identified through an analysis of Florence Nightingale’s life and work as a nurse. We reviewed a whole range of descriptions of her approach and work through the eyes of others; we considered her own writings and visited the museum dedicated to her at St Thomas’ Hospital. Here are the attributes that emerged:

A person driven by the spirit of compassion

This nurse recognises suffering and responds in an empathetic and loving way, making every effort to alleviate it. Their efforts to improve the suffering of people in their care and those close to them at the end of life are tireless and they are committed to effecting this change across society, including for people who are at risk of being marginalised or excluded.

A campaigner for change

This nurse is committed to doing ‘the right thing’ and will take risks and work outside their comfort zone to campaign for change on behalf of others.

They are courageous and, when they see inequalities, poor practice or failures in care, they are not afraid to hold people to account and call for action. They are provocative and brave in driving change and will speak up for people who are at risk of being forgotten or ignored.

A super connector

This nurse forms strong, personal relationships with people in their care, fellow nurses, colleagues and others in positions of authority. They nurture relationships, strive to earn the respect of those they work with and always seek to provide person-centred care – despite the pressures of the job.

They bring people together, recognising individual strengths and draw on these to improve services and support for dying people. This connected nurse is always considering how to do things differently so that excellent care is the norm and will seek partnerships with all who hold this vision.

A public health champion

This nurse realises that good care is far more than simply managing a person’s symptoms and recognises the opportunities to improve public health and wellbeing through education, supportive environments and encouraging public participation in care. They share knowledge, skills and power, actively engaging in health promotion to effect widespread change.

They strive to engage the pubic with the ever present reality of dying, death, loss and bereavement and recognise the risks of over-professionalisation of end of life. They realise this needs redress and champion community action to achieve this; also finding ways of integrating it with professional care and support.

An innate visionary leader

This nurse is a strong and visionary leader who sees the potential for change and whose inspirational approach encourages others to act too. They are clear about the need to do things differently and help support the development of others to aid reform.

They are able to see a different tomorrow; looking beyond immediate demand and are not deterred by potential obstacles. They have the focus and the courage to lead in uncertain times, instilling similar values in others that respond to their call for action.

A protagonist for excellence in care

This nurse is unrelenting in their ambition to improve care, services and health systems. They actively identify and understand the myriad aspects of care that would benefit from improvement. They are constructively critical, even in areas of their own work. They actively seek feedback and will genuinely listen to those in their care. They strive to capture a rich panorama of experience through systematic analysis and review.

They adopt a robust and carefully planned approach to quality improvement, consistently reviewing and refining plans accordingly. They nurture an authentic culture of collaboration where excellence is valued and sought by colleagues who are inspired to consistently strive to do their best. They are adept at encouraging engagement from others ensuring these efforts for improvements are enacted.

A creative and critical thinker

This nurse is curious and always strives to broaden their perspective and understanding through enquiry, reflection and debate. They actively share their thinking with others and will often write or present to provoke change.

They know that radical transformation is required if we are to meet the growing and changing demand for end of life care and they recognise that nurses need to be part of the design and the solution. They can see the bigger picture, uncover opportunities and creatively consider how best to seize them.

An ambassador for the nursing profession

This nurse is passionate about their profession and is committed to supporting the development of other nurses through policy, research, practice development or leadership. They seek recognition for the vital role nurses play and consistently strive to gain financial investment in order to improve understanding of this important role and its rightful status in our society. They encourage pride in the profession and actively celebrate nursing achievements.

They embody qualities that inspire others to give their best and are relentless in voicing the contribution of nursing to society.


Please note: Nominations have now closed

Who can be nominated?

The nominee must be a registered nurse working in any care setting or organisation. The focus of their work must relate to palliative care or end of life care and they will, in some way, be driving forward a change that will reshape nursing and the care experience for patients and their families. How they do this may vary – through strong leadership, practice development, service improvement, campaigning activities or establishing new approaches.

Your nominee should be a nurse who you think embodies at least five of the attributes and acts in a way that inspires others.

For any further information please contact Marie on

Why nominate?

If your nominee is successful and agrees to participate in the programme, they can expect:

  • An increased profile on the national and international stage of palliative nursing
  • The opportunity to explore additional mentorship or support required to increase their personal and professional impact
  • An invitation to help shape a model of palliative nursing fit for the future, working with a range of other leading nurses
  • Additional opportunities to participate in events and conferences that address the important agenda of the future of palliative nursing
  • The chance to be part of a new network of pioneering nurses that support each other and palliative nursing more generally.

The nomination process

  • Consider if your nominee will want to be nominated and profiled before you apply. If unsure please do proceed, their agreement will be sought if they are successful at the selection phase.
  • Once you’ve completed the nomination form below a selection panel will consider your nomination and you will be contacted as to the outcome of your nomination
  • Should your nomination be successful, we will ask you to contact the nominee and asked if they wish to participate in the project
  • Nominations will be accepted until 30 September 2020. So please nominate as soon as possible so we can get them on board!
  • If you think language could be a barrier, please do get in touch as we may still be able to consider your nominee.