We are very proud that dedicated community nurse Lynn Piatczanyn has been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse.

Lynn, who cares for and supports children with life threatening conditions and their families is delighted to be recognised by nursing charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI). The charity has just announced Her Majesty Queen Camilla as their royal Patron.

The highly respected honour is awarded to nurses who demonstrate commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership.

Lynn, who will be known by many by her previous surname of Sheppard, says that the news was a complete shock to her.

“When I saw the email, I cried!” she says. “It’s a rigorous application process so I didn’t expect to achieve the title. When I heard, I felt so honoured.”

“My work colleagues within the hospice and within the wider community have been delighted to hear the news, too. The Queen’s Nurse title embodies the work that we all do and promotes high standards of nursing care replicated from the hospice to the community for the children and families we serve.

“My mum, who sadly passed away several years ago, was my greatest advocate in my nursing career and would have been overjoyed with the news,” she said.

During her nursing career, Lynn has earned and achieved ongoing academic success. However she says being a Queen’s Nurse is her proudest moment yet.

“The Queen’s Award is the absolute pinnacle of my career, because this title is about demonstrating and valuing care for the children and families and being a role model to others,” she says.

Lynn has worked at Hope House for 22 years, supporting poorly children and their families in the community. Her mission is to make sure that no-one experiences the death of a child alone.

“Nursing in the community is my passion. It has given me extraordinary encounters with children and families in the most difficult times in their lives, the death of their child. Each situation is unique and needs to be managed in a gentle compassionate manner.”

“For the families, this is about trust and building confidence with children and families, to give them informed choices and to support them. I can’t fix what they’re going through but I hope I can help them negotiate their palliative care journey from first introductions to care in life, death and bereavement support. “

Lynn has been nursing for 44 years, starting with adult training at 18 years old, before specialising in paediatrics.

Making a difference

She remembers vividly the moment she knew she wanted to work to make a difference in children’s palliative care.

“I was working at a District General Hospital, when an eighteen-month-old boy suddenly needed critical care and died. I nursed him and, led by his parents, supported them to wash and dress him and keep his little lion teddy with him.”

“The acute hospital setting does not always have the time to care in the way that is needed during such intimate encounters. So, this is when my nursing career path changed to support children and families in a bespoke environment, to include their own homes, for end of life care, death and bereavement support.”

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the QNI said:

“On behalf of the QNI, I would like to congratulate Lynn and welcome her as a Queen’s Nurse. Queen’s Nurses serve as leaders and role models in community nursing, delivering high quality health care across the country. The application and assessment process to become a Queen’s Nurse requires clear commitment to improving care for patients, their families and carers.”

Lynn says she’s looking forward to experiencing the opportunities that the award brings.

She says: “I reflect on first wearing my student nurse uniform, adequately equipped and keen to learn. This has never left me and the journey continues for me.

“Achieving the Queen’s Nurse title opens up further opportunities to share and promote my area of nurse practice, paediatric palliative care in the community. I’ve recently been asked to join the National Advisory Group for palliative end-of-life care. I look forward to being a role model supporting and sharing expertise with other nurses.”