A NURSE and academic who has dedicated her life to the development of nursing both here and abroad has been made a CBE by the Queen.
Professor Kath McCourt, an influential figure on the direction and teaching of the nursing profession, was presented with the honour this week.
“I was absolutely delighted to receive this award,” said Prof McCourt, who is executive dean of the faculty of health and life sciences at Northumbria University.
“I regard this as a huge honour, not just for myself, but for the nursing profession as a whole, which is increasingly being recognised for the high calibre and quality of its work across the globe.
“During my career, I have been keen to ensure the true voice of nursing is heard on an international level and I feel that nurses increasingly play a vital role in the protection and promotion of healthy societies.
“Having worked with governments across the world to establish emerging health infrastructures, I am passionate that the role of nursing remains a priority in our increasingly globalised world.”
Prof McCourt is a Royal College of Nursing Council member for the Northern Region and was appointed Chair of the RCN Council – the profession’s governing body – in October 2011.
Taking the high-profile role as chair, she represents all nurses and healthcare assistants across the UK. She chairs the RCN International Committee and in 2008 was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, which is the highest honour the RCN can bestow.
Prof McCourt began her illustrious career as a registered nurse and midwife, working in the UK, Germany and the US. She returned to the North East to join the Freeman Hospital’s cardio-thoracic intensive care unit, where she went on to hold a number of senior roles in adult and paediatric intensive care.
After taking a teaching role, she began to play an increasingly international role at Northumbria University, which enabled her to work across the world on nursing projects.
In recent years she has worked across Asia and China with health ministries and in partnership with the Egyptian government on health and population issues for nurse education and nurse teachers.
She has been involved in planning for the future of nurse education in South Africa, has worked with the Commonwealth Nurses Association and has also been a Visiting Professor of MAHSA University College, in Malaysia, since 2010.
Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “On behalf of the RCN, I would like to congratulate Prof Kath McCourt on her award. This well- deserved honour is recognition of the dedication she has shown both to the RCN and to the whole of nursing.
“She is an outstanding academic and has made a huge contribution to delivering high-quality nursing care for many years. Of many qualities, Kath McCourt is a woman of integrity and is a shining example of the best of nursing.”