Jacinta steals the spotlight at nursing awards

HONOUR: Jacinta Hannigan was thrilled to win the Excellence in Practice Award at the 2019 South Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards. Photo: supplied.
HONOUR: Jacinta Hannigan was thrilled to win the Excellence in Practice Award at the 2019 South Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards. Photo: supplied.

Jacinta Hannigan has been recognised for her dedication and passion for health care amongst some of the finest in her field at the South Australian Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards.

Ms Hannigan was presented with an award for Excellence in Practice for going above and beyond her duties as an Enrolled Nurse in Acute and Aged Care at Quorn Hospital.

Although she has held the position for six years, Ms Hannigan previously worked in a community role and as a community support worker prior to returning to work in the acute/aged sector.

"That's where I learnt the meaning of education and the importance of giving people in the community the knowledge and skills to improve their health," Ms Hannigan said.

"I went on to become a nurse because I still wanted to have that role of being able to help people and impart that education and that's when I really noticed there was a lack of those programs in the community."

She has a passion for improving health outcomes and is often found volunteering for events like The Biggest Morning Tea, and running men and women's health nights.

"The further we are from the bigger cities, the poorer the health outcomes are. So hopefully I've done a little bit to help," she said.

"I've grown up with role models that have done fundraising and all those sorts of things. As a small community, you have to stick together and every one just jumps on board. It's beautiful."

Ms Hannigan was nominated for the award by her Director of Nursing, a gesture she was particularly honoured by.

She has been working for Country Health SA for 15 years, including her time in an administrative role.

"For me, its very humbling. I don't think people get the opportunity to have that recognition and there are people out there that do so much," she said.

"Volunteering in small communities and in health service is so important."

Ms Hannigan graduated from TAFE SA in November 2012 with a Diploma of Nursing, having studied at the Port Pirie campus.

The Excellence in Practice Award was sponsored by TAFE SA, making it a full circle moment.

TAFE SA Director of Community Services, Health and Lifestyle Lisa Vertue said her organisation was thrilled to be sponsoring the Excellence in Practice Award.

"It's what we aspire to do - prepare nurses for the workforce," she said.

"TAFE SA has a big role in training students to be enrolled nurses and providing a pathway for those wanting to go onto further study in registered nursing, so the award has a significance for us.

"We were so excited to be presenting the award to a past student. Jacinta is passionate about her community and making a difference to the people living in it."