The New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s (NZNO’s) Young Nurse of the Year Award was presented at the organisation’s online
Annual General Meeting today.
The recipient was Kelly Talbot, a 29-year-old clinical nurse specialist at Southern Cross Hospital and student nurse
educator at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, based in Rotorua. Competition was close but the judging panel said Kelly
just had the edge because she manages to work across two very complex sectors - education and acute care - in a way that
is recognised as outstanding by her colleagues.
Kelly’s nominators say she has earned a solid reputation for hard work, straight talking, competent leadership and fine
teaching. They commend her compassion, courage and commitment to te Tiriti o Waitangi, and say her teaching style
enriches the learning experiences of students and potential future colleagues.
They also say she is able to educate patients, putting things into terms they can really understand.
Her nomination was accompanied by several supporting letters from her students who describe her as ‘fantastic’,
‘encouraging’, ‘approachable’, ‘helpful’, and ‘professional’.
Kelly says she was shocked to have received such recognition.
"Being told there was a panel of people who loved reading about my journey and my work made me teary-eyed, but I feel
very proud and honoured."
She says she absolutely enjoys her work.
"I remember being a student myself, trying to juggle my daughter, work and study. Times were tough and I love that now,
as a student nurse educator, I have the opportunity to support and mentor students while on their clinical placements.
"It’s great that I can help build on their clinical knowledge with my teaching, seeing their confidence grow and being
there to support them when they feel like giving up."
Kelly’s plans for the future are to keep developing the pre-admission clinic she currently works at so patient outcomes
continue to improve. She’d also like to do an education paper to enhance her teaching skills.
She says she will use the prize money to help fund her last postgraduate paper for her Masters, which she hopes to
complete early next year.
The 2020 judging panel consisted of representatives from the award’s sponsor All District Health Boards, NZNO and the
Nursing Education and Research Foundation, alongside previous joint winners Aroha Ruha-Hiraka and Annie Stevenson.