A community nurse from the Capital is among a group of 20 to have been awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse, marking the first time the honour has been made in Scotland for almost 50 years.
Jessica Davidson was selected earlier this year to take part in a nine-month development programme run by the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland.
She was nominated by managers for providing high quality, compassionate nursing care.
Jessica, senior clinical forensic charge nurse based at St Leonard’s police station, looks after the health needs of people in custody.
Covering the south east of Scotland and employing 25 highly-qualified nurses, the custody healthcare service checks patients for health problems and advises accordingly.
“Most of the people who end up in places like this are disenfranchised, marginalised, and may not go near a GP,” Jessica said.
“We are committed to finding innovative ways to help our patients into treatment.”
Jessica said being nominated to become a Queen’s Nurse has “reignited” her passion for her job.
“Being a Queen’s Nurse has replenished my resources and has given me permission to flourish, and to encourage others to flourish, and I’m not about to stop now.”
Queen’s Nursing in Scotland dates back to the late 19th century, when nurses trained at institute sites across the country including Edinburgh’s Castle Terrace until 1969.
The decision was made to reintroduce the title to Scotland in 2017 following the precedent set by sister organisation the Queen’s Nursing Institute, which represents the rest of the UK. A Scottish programme was then developed after extensive consultation with health and social care leaders.
Clare Cable, chief executive and nurse director of QNIS, said: “These exceptional individuals can be deservedly proud of being awarded this prestigious title.
“From the late 1880s, Queen’s Nurses were social reformers who were taking public health into people’s homes to help families take better care of themselves.
“The modern Queen’s Nurses are building on this proud heritage – sharing this pioneering spirit to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities of Scotland.
“Their roles vary, from bringing care to some of society’s most vulnerable and marginalised groups to supporting people in mental distress or end of life care.
“They represent the geography of Scotland, from rural communities and small islands to concentrated areas within the big cities, but they all demonstrate nursing excellence which makes a real difference to the lives of the people they work with.”
The group was presented with a certificate and badge during an awards ceremony in Edinburgh by guest of honour Prue Leith - judge on the Great British Bake Off, who is also Chancellor of Queen Margaret University.