Sat | Mar 24, 2018

Dedicated pro takes top nursing title

Published:Sunday | July 24, 2016 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
LASCO's Lascelles Chin (left) presents the Nurse of the Year trophy to Laverna Campbell shortly after she was announced as the winner for 2016-2017 yesterday.
Finalists in the LASCO Nurse of the Year Awards 2016-2017 lighting candles as a symbol to nursing during the awards ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

The possibility of moving overseas to seek better pay has never crossed the mind of Laverna Campbell, who was yesterday declared the 2016-2017 LASCO/Nurses' Association of Jamaica (NAJ) Nurse of the Year.

Instead of thinking of joining several of her colleagues who have migrated searching for a better life, Campbell vowed to give back to Jamaica and to assist other professionals in fulfilling their purpose.

Speaking with The Sunday Gleaner following the awards ceremony which was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, the Nurse of the Year said it was a humbling experience to be given such a prestigious title.




"Each day you get up, persons will say to me, 'You in nursing for 32 years and you're still in Jamaica?' However, I don't want to leave Jamaica. I am staying right here because everybody can't leave, so I want to give back to my country and my people, and that is why I am still here," declared Campbell.

"I am elated. I was shaking up there. I was a finalist in 2010 and I was the first runner-up, so I am happy and pleased that I am the NAJ/LASCO Nurse of the Year. It's even more significant as the 19th of July was the association's 70th birthday, so I am glad that I am the nurse who will be reigning during the year," added Campbell.

She said among the many initiatives she will embark on during her reign is to complete refurbishing of the NAJ headquarters - The Mary Seacole House at 72 Arnold Road.

The proud nurse declared that there was no profession she would rather be in.

"When I started out April 1981, I wanted to be a nurse. In my family we have different professions so I wanted to make the difference. It has its highs and lows, but if I should do it all over again this would be my passion. I love nursing," she declared.

Sharing the spotlight at yesterday's event was Nadja Brown, student of the University of the West Indies School of Nursing, Western Jamaica Campus, who was crowned the Student Nurse of the Year.

Campbell received a trophy in addition to a cheque valued at $200,000, among a host of prizes. Brown also walked away with a trophy and a cash prize of $100,000.