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Congratulations to Ben Bowers, SPCR doctoral student at the University of Cambridge, who has been shortlisted for the prestigious RCNi Nurse Awards 2020 in the General Practice & Community Nurse category. Ben was shortlisted from 700 entries across all categories for his SPCR funded research and its impact on practice to date. He has met senior directors at NHS England and the Care Quality Commission to discuss his research findings generally, and how these can inform their response to the Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal specifically. 

I'm delighted and feel very fortunate to be shortlisted for this prodigious Nursing Award. It is a reflection of the awesome support I have had from my supervisors and colleagues to develop my research and public engagement skills'. 
- Ben Bowers

This award recognises individual nurses or teams who work in community, primary care and public health roles, whether in a health centre, general practice, care home, school or in patients' homes. The award holds particular significance with 2020 marking the centenary year of the nursing profession. 


Ben Bowers was concerned about guidance that advocated prescribing injectable end of life drugs weeks or months in advance. The Queen’s Nurse’s systematic review found an inadequate evidence base and his rigorous research identified that GPs and community nurses were making decisions to prescribe the drugs weeks or months ahead of a person’s anticipated death. He has used his research to improve the safety of this prescribing practice through targeted social media, clinical conferences and workshops to get balanced information out to clinicians. 

Judging was done based on the following criteria:

  • How creative/innovative is the initiative? How much has the project contributed to nursing knowledge?
  • How instrumental was the nominee in setting up and leading the initiative?
  • Consider the level of obstacles the nominee overcame to get the initiative up and running.
  • Consider the impact the initiative has had on patient experience, health outcomes and nursing practice.
  • What level of evaluation has been undertaken/is planned?
  • To what extent has the nominee disseminated their initiative?
  • To what extent does the nominee stand out as a nurse leader and ambassador for the profession?

A virtual awards ceremony to recognise the exceptional contribution of nurses, including those who have lost their lives during the Covid-19 crises, will be held later in the year. Read more about the award: