The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Outstanding Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner wins UK award

Published: 14 December 2017
Award winning ANNP Colm Darby
Award winning ANNP Colm Darby

Last month, University of Southampton student Colm Darby, was awarded ‘UK Neonatal Nurse of the Year 2017’ for his outstanding service in the neonatal community. The award was presented by the Neonatal Nurses Association.

Colm is an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in Craigavon, Northern Ireland and has seven years’ experience as a Neonatal Staff Nurse. For the past year he has worked as an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

He was nominated by a member of the Trust’s midwifery team as a result of his commitment to improving neonatal hypoglycaemia management within the trust. In 2016 he influenced the introduction of a new guideline to promote breastfeeding and help reduce neonatal admissions.

Colm developed and trained midwives and nurses with the Trust hospitals on the guideline and created education packs and parent information on the use of Glucose Gel to treat transient hypoglycaemia in neonates. The review of the evidence base for the intervention was carried out as part of his dissertation.

Colm with his Neonatal Nurse of the Year Award 2017 certificate
Colm with his Neonatal Nurse of the Year Award 2017 certificate

Breastfeeding rates in Northern Ireland are at the lowest in the UK. On implementation of the new guideline and management strategy the Trust has seen a decrease in admissions for hypoglycaemia, improved breastfeeding rates and improved hospital stay experiences for breastfeeding mothers. Quality improvement and service development are key areas within Colm’s role as an Advance Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

Colm said: “I am very honoured and humbled to be awarded with the UK Neonatal Nurse of the Year 2017. Being a pre-term baby myself as well as my siblings; neonatal nursing has always been close to my heart.”

During his studies at Southampton Colm has been an outstanding student. His tutor Susan Smith is delighted to hear of his success:

“We are very proud of Colm and I am thrilled that his hard work and dedication to improving the quality of neonatal care has been acknowledged. He is fully deserving of this award and I am sure he will continue to enhance clinical practice as a very committed Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner”. 

Find out more about Colm's experience studying the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice at Southampton.

Images courtesy of Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland.

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