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Nurse of the Year winner announced

Cup of kindness: Karen Grant-Simmons with her Nurse of the Year award at Hamilton City Hall (Photograph Akil Simmons)

A psychiatric nurse and vice president of the Bermuda Nursing Association yesterday won the Nurse of the Year award.

Karen Grant-Simmons, the clinic manager for acute community mental health services at the Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute, said she was “humbled and delighted” by the accolade.

Ms Grant-Simmons, a 22-year veteran of the profession and a part-time lecturer at Bermuda College, added: “Nursing is my passion, it is my calling, it is my life.

“When I was younger I knew I was meant to be a nurse. No matter where I work, in the hospital or the community, I give it my best because it is my passion.

“No nurse goes into the profession to be recognised – we get joy assisting and administering care to others.”

Ms Grant-Simmons was speaking as she was given the award on the steps of Hamilton City Hall yesterday.

Her work as a mentor to other nurses was highlighted by one of the people who nominated her - a nursing student.

The trainee nurse said in her nomination: “Every day she goes to work she volunteers an extra two to four hours and even on some weekends she volunteers her time to ensure clients receive the care they need in the community.

“I believe that with her being selected as the next Nurse of the Year she will be a great asset to the association and nursing at large.”

Ms Grant-Simmons said that she had enjoyed helping others since she was a child and had continued down that path.

She added: “I recall when I was younger there was a gentleman at church who was paralysed and using a wheelchair.

“I would escort him all around the churchyard, inside and out to the bus stop.

“When I was in high school I would be the first to take someone to the sick bay.”

Ms Grant-Simmons said the pandemic had created new problems for healthcare staff because of the lack of information about the coronavirus at first and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute had set up a special hotline for those who felt the pressure.

She added: “Now nurses are more knowledgable and more confident, but we are still there to provide emotional support.”

Ms Grant-Simmons appealed to anyone who found fulfilment caring for other people to consider nursing as a career.

She said: “It is very much a rewarding profession. You will never be out of a job because there is a global shortage of nurses everywhere.

“If you like to help, if you like to assist others, this is the perfect job for you.”

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Published June 01, 2021 at 7:56 am (Updated June 01, 2021 at 7:27 am)

Nurse of the Year winner announced

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