Nottingham’s Nurse of the Year has celebrated her award win by having a tram named after her.
Luisa Avanzado who works as a staff nurse on Berman 2 Ward at Nottingham City Hospital, unveiled tram ‘220’ which was renamed in her honour, at the special ceremony held at Wilkinson Street tram depot this afternoon.
This event was fittingly held just one week before the NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations.
Luisa, who is from the Philippines, received the most public votes and was therefore the overall winner of the Nurse of the Year Awards 2018. She also won the title International Nurse of the Year. Speaking at May’s award evening Luisa said: “This award is not just for me, but for all nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants all over the world.”
Luisa, who has devoted a decade of her life to caring for patients with unique and complex needs, was accompanied by family and friends at the named tram unveiling today and described the latest accolade as “completely overwhelming”.
She said: “I am very pleased and overwhelmed by this experience as this is a once in a lifetime achievement. I am proud to be named the Nurse of the Year and I feel very lucky and honoured to have a tram named after me today. I want to thank all members of Team NUH and NET for making it possible. I am completely overwhelmed and would like to thank all those who have supported me.”
Luisa comes from a family of nurses. With five aunts working as nurses in America she said she knew from a young age that she wanted to train as a nurse. Now aged 50 and having dedicated 16 years to nursing at NUH, Luisa says it is the backing of her friends and colleagues who have made her who she is today.
She added: “I’ve had big support from my family, friends and colleagues. It was the deputy ward manager Sonny who nominated me for my award and I am so proud of this achievement. My commitment is really looking after patients who are really ill and this is my passion.”
Sonny Mandac, Deputy Ward Manager for Respiratory Medicine, who works with Luisa said: “Luisa is lovely and provides excellent care for her patients, she is a super nurse and we are so lucky to have her working for us. She provides direct patient care and it was great to see that some of her patients were so pleased with her care that they voted for her for the Nurse of the Year award category.”
The awards are aimed at highlighting the contribution of local nurses and midwives was organised by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), Nottingham Express Transit (NET) and the Nottingham Post.
Mandie Sunderland, NUH Chief Nurse, said Luisa demonstrates all the qualities patients have come to expect from City Hospital nurses.
She said: “These awards demonstrate just how many truly exceptional and talented staff we have working across our hospitals and in the community who continually go the extra mile to provide the very best quality care to our patients and their families. Many congratulations to Luisa our international Nurse of the Year winner and overall winner for 2018. Having Luisa’s name on a tram for the year puts nursing and our hospital right into the heart of the local community in Nottingham, where we have an important role to play. The relationship between NUH, NET and Nottingham Post is unique in my experience and one that enables these fantastic awards which recognise the outstanding contributions of our nurse and midwives, to be possible.”
Adrian Wallace, Chief Executive of NET concessionaire Tramlink Nottingham, explained: “We’re proud to carry the name of a local nurse on the side of one of our trams as it’s a constant reminder of commitment, compassion and dedication that’s typical of the entire profession.
“The competition itself has also strengthened the close links between the city’s tramway and local hospitals. In fact, the dedicated QMC stop is one of the busiest on the network, with thousands of people every day relying on the tram to get to work on the wards, make an outpatient’s appointment or to visit a loved one.”