Geraldine Cunningham, associate director of culture change, has been awarded the prestigious Royal College of Nursing fellowship.
Geraldine was awarded the fellowship in recognition of the incredible contribution she has made to nursing over the past 40 years. Her career has spanned both the NHS and the Royal College, and her work has impacted the lives of nurses and patients in the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, Singapore and her native Ireland.
Some of Geraldine's key achievements include, but are not limited to:
- The RCN's clinical leadership development programme that has led to hundreds of nurses having successful careers
- Using patient stories to improve nursing care at a field hospital for UK nationals and military and civilian personnel in Afghanistan
- Developing the clinical teams programme with funding from the NHS Leadership Centre to support 100 teams across England
- Creating the award-winning RCN dignity campaign to improve dignity in healthcare settings following multiple reports that it was being diminished
- Developing the principles of nursing practice in response to the Mid Staffordshire Hospitals public inquiry, which continues to impact on how we provide safe and effective careeding funding for nursing development in the UK and abroad
- Leading our very own health and wellbeing response to Covid-19
- Co-designing our violence and aggression improvement collaborative
- Personally supporting teams and families who faced loss and emotional trauma
- Fostering new ways of working and better relationships within teams that were facing challenges
"Geraldine understands that to provide excellent patient care, we must first look after our colleagues who provide that care, in the best way possible. Her unique combination of professional nursing experience, organisational development (OD) expertise and her personal caring approach has made a tremendous difference to Barts Health," said Caroline Alexander, group chief nurse, Barts Health.
"Since I was privileged to meet her over 25 years ago, I have seen and experienced the impact that she has had on me and others. She is value driven, passionate, knowledgeable, creative, tenacious, caring and considerate, brave, motivated and wise," said Paul Vaughan, head of perceptions and general practice nursing, NHS E/I.
"Geraldine is all about involving, engaging and empowering people. I have witnessed so many nurses inspired and enabled by her. Nurses who felt they did not have a voice or much power to influence or make changes; they did find their voices and used them to champion patient care. She always treats everyone with respect and sees potential in people that others often overlook," said Anne Benson, principal consultant/researcher, The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.