A Woking nurse who helps support adults hospitalised with mental health needs has been shortlisted in the Ann Shuttleworth Rising Star category at the Nursing Times Awards. 

The national award recognises a nurse working in the NHS or independent sector who has been qualified for less than five years, demonstrates exceptional qualities that embody the best of nursing and leadership skills to inspire others to follow their example.

Kirti Paik-Inkar, a nurse at Cygnet Hospital Woking (CHW), has been shortlisted for her work supporting men and women admitted to hospital in need of mental health care. As well as for her work strengthening diversity and inclusion within the organisation.

Kirti initially began her career as a mental health support worker. She has a constant desire to grow and learn and subsequently started her nursing education and returned to work as a nurse in 2019. 

She later advanced to the position of clinical team leader and is also a Multicultural Ambassador for Cygnet. 

Kirti said: “I couldn't believe it when I heard that I was shortlisted for this award. This nomination is for anyone who continues to motivate others to improve the quality of our practice and service, is compassionate and has the ability to make the change. 

“I remember the first time I conducted a staff training session. The energy and enthusiasm in the room were palpable, and that's when I realised the impact I could have.

“I have been offering staff training and supporting the Care Team Leads and student nurses. My practice is evidence-based and I focus on innovation and the values of Cygnet; care, respect, empower, trust and integrity.”

CHW manager Roadnight said she is extremely proud of Kirti for the recognition.

She added: “Kirti is a kind and caring individual who always checks in on colleagues and gives her support. She is known as the ‘Woking cheerleader’.

“Kirti is a passionate, driven staff member, who works tirelessly to ensure that the care we deliver to patients, and support we offer to staff, is of the highest quality. 

“She is integral to the staff and service user experience at CHW, as well as the inclusion of our multicultural staff across the wider organisation.

“She is a driving force in developing and enhancing the team at Cygnet Hospital Woking to improve their experience, practice and ability to deliver the highest standards of professional nursing care.

“She epitomises compassionate leadership, focusing on relationships through careful listening to, understanding, empathising with and supporting other people, enabling those she leads to feel valued, respected and cared for, so they can reach their potential and do their best work. 

“Every day she demonstrates her commitment to ensuring the safe and highly effective delivery of nursing care. She is committed to staff engagement, empowerment and enabling them to develop experience, knowledge and skills.”

Kirti also helps organise events across Cygnet celebrating days and events such as Eid, Diwali and more. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, October 23 at JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London.