Fife has a Queen’s Nurse for the first time in almost 50 years

Fife nurse Gemma MacDonald is the first Queen's Nurse in Fife in almost 50 years.
Fife nurse Gemma MacDonald is the first Queen's Nurse in Fife in almost 50 years.

A Fife nurse has been awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse, the first time the honour has been made in Scotland for almost 50 years.

Gemma MacDonald, a health visitor based in west Fife, completed a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) earlier this year, after being nominated by NHS managers for providing high quality, compassionate nursing care.

Having successfully completing the programme, Gemma has earned the right to use the Queen’s Nurse title which dates back to the late 19th century when nurses trained at Institute sites across the country until 1969.

QNIS was established in 1889 thanks to a donation from Queen Victoria on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee.

 Historically, the title of Queen’s Nurse was awarded to nurses who completed specific training which allowed them to work as district nurses.

The decision was made to reintroduce the title to Scotland in 2017 following the precedent set by sister organisation the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), which represents the rest of the UK.

A Scottish programme was then developed after extensive consultation with health and social care leaders.

At 31, Gemma is one of the youngest of the newly appointed Queen’s Nurses and she saidshe was “absolutely delighted” to be awarded the title.

“It’s my job to assess situations, and engage families in what needs to be done to give theirchild a secure and happy first five years,” Gemma told the Press.

“The QNIS programme has been transformational on a personal and professional level and the best part is that every aspect of it can be translated into the workplace and into the homes of the families I work with.”

Gemma was one of 20 nurses from across Scotland, which included a midwife caring for asylum seeking mothers living in Glasgow and a nurse in police custody, to qualify for the prestigious title.