A Norfolk emergency nurse has received top honours for her exceptional work in supporting the nursing profession.

Natalie Brooks, who works at the James Paget Hospital, accepted the Royal College of Nursing’s Award of Merit for her significant role as the RCN Eastern Region Board chairwoman and its representative.

Fulfilling her duties alongside her career and her voluntary roles in the RCN, Ms Brooks has made noteworthy strides towards an inclusive environment.

She ardently promotes member participation in RCN activities, such as the RCN Congress, while reaching out to underrepresented internationally educated nursing professionals.

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RCN Eastern Regional director Teresa Budrey said: “Natalie is so passionate about nursing and the role of the RCN. She firmly believes members have the power to make change.

“She is seen as the trusted voice within the region and is a strong supporter of our black and ethnic minority members.

“During our campaign for fair pay for nursing staff, Natalie became a lead member for us in the Eastern region.

“She ensured the region was represented and key messages were heard during the industrial action, by visiting wards and picket lines as well as ensuring the public heard the nursing voice through speaking to the media.

“This award pays tribute to Natalie’s commitment, vigour, hard work and her ability to get the best out of others.”

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Ms Brooks said: “I'm very proud and surprised to receive the Award of Merit.

“I am honoured and privileged to be the RCN Eastern board chair.

"It has given me opportunities to support and interact with amazing members and the nursing family across the region.

"They give me my passion and the drive to continuously want better for nursing and the college."