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Antonette Bent, the 2023/2024 University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) Nurse of Excellence awardee, intends to use her prize to assist another young woman to benefit from higher education.

“One of the things that we have to do as a Nurse of Excellence is carry out a project. My project will be at the Women’s Centre (of Jamaica Foundation) so I want to give a grant to someone there who wants to attain higher education,” the 31-year-old, who says she is passionate about helping others, explained.

She added that she will be going to the Women’s Centre to conduct teaching and motivation sessions as she recently completed midwifery and has an interest in child and maternal health.

From left, Mrs Helena Thomson, senior director of nursing at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), Maurica Sinclair Smith, second runner-up of the UHWI Nurse of Excellence for 2023-2024, Antonette Bent, UHWI Nurse of Excellence 2023-2024, Shamonique Markland, first runner-up; and Gillian Hyde, deputy managing director at JN Bank, take time out for a quick photo ‘opp’ after the awards ceremony.

Nurse Bent, who has been a registered nurse for seven years and has worked at UHWI all her career, was selected from among seven finalists, at an event held on July 17 at the institution, to mark Nurses’ Week, which is being celebrated from July 16-22.

Nurses’ Week is being celebrated under the theme, “Our Nurses. Our Future.”

“I am elated and just happy that excellent work has been recognised and it is something that they continue to do at the hospital, and I am just really happy to be this year’s recipient of the Nurse of Excellence award.l,” said the certified Accident and Emergency nurse.

The Flagaman, St Elizabeth native says she wants to be a role model for other nurses to look up to.

“I want them to know that we consider excellence to be something very important in nursing, with our ethical standards, quality patient care and professionalism.   We want to change the face of nursing,” she said.

Gillian Hyde, deputy managing director at JN Bank, who presented Nurse Bent with her award, lauded the finalists for their commitment to healthcare in her address preceding the announcement.

“Nurses, we applaud your loyalty, patriotism and devotion to this nation and our people, and look forward to presenting this year’s award to the nurse among you who you all agree, exemplifies excellence in all aspects of this noble discipline,” she shared.

She also applauded the competition, noting that every year, each winner brings new light, warmth and focus to an area of focus that “highlights the altruism of nurses beyond the care they extend to their patients.”

To underscore the point, Mrs Hyde highlighted the community service interventions each winner has undertaken in various areas, to include maternal care and disease prevention over the years.

Nurse Bent received numerous awards for copping the title of Nurse of Excellence, including a monetary prize from JN Bank. She says she intends to do a leadership course as she currently is an acting charge nurse, overseeing a unit of her peers.

“Nursing chose me. I grew up with parents who were sick, and from I was little I was empathetic and cared for them. I am a caring person, and I am passionate about helping others and I just knew that it was the right choice for me to become a nurse,” Nurse Bent stated.

The first and second runners-up are Shamonique Markland and Maurica Sinclair Smith.

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