Zarah Perry-Woodford, a consultant nurse from Harrow, has been named Nurse of the Year at the British Journal of Nursing gala evening.
Zarah, who previously served in the Royal Air Force, works at St Mark’s Hospital within Northwick Park as a specialist in stoma and internal pouch care. She dedicated the award to her mother, who passed away, saying that her mother had inspired her to join the nursing profession and to always strive to do her best.
“I’ve had to overcome many obstacles in my career but I’ve always heeded my mum’s advice. I am very passionate about what I do and am focused on doing the best I can for my patients. My mum was my biggest fan and inspiration,” Zarah said.
Zarah felt emotional when she was announced as the winner, but hugged her colleagues in gratitude. Judges recognized her nursing and leadership skills during the pandemic, as she helped to ensure that patients at the specialist bowel cancer hospital continued to receive uninterrupted treatment.
She also co-authored a handbook that helps patients self-manage their condition with confidence and oversaw the digitalization of stoma services.
Zarah’s colleagues at St Mark’s Hospital in Harrow also won a silver award in the Stoma Nurse of the Year category. When asked about her advice to young people considering joining the nursing profession, Zarah said, “My mum’s second best piece of advice was ‘love what you do and do what you love.’ It helps to be passionate about what you do. I have been lucky enough to meet some incredible people who have seen my potential and believed in me. However, it is also important to have that drive to challenge yourself, manage your expectations and learn from your mistakes. My mum taught me that and this award is for her.”
Zarah credits her mother’s advice as the driving force behind her success and this award. We would like to congratulate Zarah on this amazing achievement.