NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 14, 2020 — Nurse Sylvianna Andre-Powell, a senior nurse at the Alexandra Hospital, says she was pleasantly surprised when she received word that she has been chosen to be the Nurse of the Year for 2020, by the Nevis Nurses Association following their announcement by nurse Simone Harris, the association‘s President on May 12, 2020, during the observance of International Nurses Day.
Her reaction came hours later on May 13, 2020, when she spoke to the Department of Information.
“A few years ago I was honoured by the Johnson and Johnson Company in a campaign for Nursing Future. I received certificates of dedication from the Ministry of Health but today 2020 Nurses Day, I was flabbergasted when the news broke I was identified as the Nurse for the Year.
“I am not looking for earthly reward but to be honoured by co-workers speaks volumes. My co-workers see more of what I do than my employer,” she said.
Nurse Andre-Powell, an Assistant Nurse Manager at the Alexandra Hospital, thanked the association for the honour.
“I know I have sacrificed personal time, family time, sleep and more just for this profession but when you love what you do you don’t consider it a job. My profession is not just putting on a uniform and expecting a monthly salary. When I think of my profession I think of a person or persons who desperately need my care.
“So to the executive and the Nevis Nurses Association on a whole, I just want to say a heartfelt acknowledgement for your recognition and your publicity,” she said.
According to nurse Andre-Powell, her desire for Nursing began when she saw villagers in her homeland Dominica caring for a sick man. They relieved his discomfort and the satisfaction that was felt, that was the decisive moment she felt the need to become a nurse and she has not regretted her decision to do so.
“From then I asked to be taught how to use a blood pressure apparatus, administer insulin injection, and do wound dressing. My school holidays turned into voluntary work at the village health centre.
“This year marks 26 years in the Nursing profession for me. I am proud to say I have not and will not regret choosing such profession to do what nobody else would do in a way that nobody else can do. In spite of all I go through, that makes me a nurse. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn life around,” she said.
Nurse Simone Harris noted that nurse Andre-Powell’s selflessness warranted her receiving the honour.
“We didn’t have a criteria. It’s just that we recognised what she did. Nurse Andre is our Night Coordinator, our Night Sister for the past couple of years. About five, [or] six years now. She is our Night Coordinator and has been doing a very, very excellent job.
“Nurse Andre has been working when nurses called in, when nurses get sick she fills in. She even worked up to 13 nights straight which no other nurse would want to do, and that is sacrificing her family time. She has two small children and a husband and she has set that aside temporarily to come to work.
“She is so dedicated to what she is doing. She is dedicated to the nursing service and that is why we chose to give nurse Andre that recognition because she has been doing an excellent job.
“On the night duty she has been doing an excellent job, at all they do in nursing but she is also helping out in the Maternal and Child Health Division doing their statistics and helping them to set up their sick charts and so on and we think it was best to recognise nurse Andre after doing all of these things and sacrificing time and family. So it is only best for us to honour her now,” she said.
Nurse Harris noted that they had initially planned to honour nurse Andre-Powell in a bigger way but COVID-19 changed their plans. However, She expressed hope that they would get to do so in a bigger, better and formal setting.
Meantime, Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health and Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration, in an invited comment on May 14, 2020, congratulated nurse Andre-Powell for being named Nurse of the Year 2020.
“I would like to join with this organisation in congratulating nurse Andre-Powell on this very important designation that the association has bestowed on her… She has had 26 years in the nursing profession. I dare say that 26 years in any profession is no mean feat. It means that she has an overwhelming passion, an overwhelming dedication for this service.
“She has also said that she chose the Nursing profession because she wanted to help people and she saw no other way that sort of help could be given and so she set about at a very early age to immerse herself in this very noble profession. I would like to congratulate her,” she said.
The minister also commended her for carrying on her profession when she moved to Nevis from St. Kitts and her dedicated service to the island and its people.
“She moved to Nevis some years ago and continued in the same vein and I must thank her for her dedication. She is one of the supervisors on the night shift and I am told that for the past five years she has been the Night Coordinator.
“I would like to say again a heartfelt thank you to Nurse Andre-Powell for the dedicated service to the nursing profession and to service in Nevis. Thank you very much Andre-Powell and continue to enjoy this accolade for the year 2020 and beyond,” she said.