Who is the Urology Nurse of the Year 2018?

04 December 2018, Tim Burton with Helen Johnson
At the BAUN (British Association of Urological Nurses) Conference in Bournemouth, Ms Helen Johnson, from Christie Hospital in Manchester, was awarded The Urology Foundation’s ‘Urology Nurse of the Year’ award. Find out how all of her hard work is going to benefit patients across Greater Manchester.

What Helen did to be awarded nurses of the year

Helen was nominated by her manager, Jane Booker, because for the last year Helen has been going above and beyond the call of duty. As well as her day to day work of caring for patients, Helen has been doing lots of blue sky thinking and has been looking at how to make her great ideas a reality for patients.

There’s two great examples of what Helen’s been doing. The first example is making the perfect patient pathway, the second is looking at how to get more nurses who can offer top care to urology patients

Perfect Patient Pathways

We spoke to Helen a little bit about these patient pathways and this is what she said,

“In Greater Manchester, when patients are diagnosed with prostate cancer their care can be quite different from person to person. A person with prostate cancer will have to see a lot of doctors and nurses throughout their illness. From a GP to a consultant, nurses in the community, and specialist nurses like myself, patients will jump across the city meeting new people and sometimes being told different things by each person.

I’ve been a part of a small team of experts in Greater Manchester who have been developing a plan to ensure that every prostate cancer patient receives the same high standard of care and the same messages about their illness. Our aim is to make Greater Manchester the gold standard in prostate cancer care.”

Helen and the team are testing out a new after care pathway for patients in Greater Manchester and With funding from The Urology Foundation she is carrying out a research project looking at patient experiences of prostate cancer after care in the city. It is hoped that the results will shape the pathways of the future and Manchester will become a shining example of prostate cancer care.

Investing in the nurses of the future

This is what Helen had to say about the nurses of the future,

“When I look at my team, I see that a number of us aren’t too far away from retiring, so of courses I’m worried about who will come in to replace us. When you’re a junior nurse, it isn’t always easy to see how you can become a specialised urology nurse. Equally, for those of us in charge of finding more specialist urology nurses, we don’t have a clear definition of what makes a good urology nurse.

“So, to tackle this problem, we’ve been working with the school of oncology here at the hospital to develop a urology specialist Masters module. It’s a brilliant, interactive course, and we’re hoping that it’ll help us develop the next generation of specialist urology nurses who have all the skills you need to take on a specialist role.

What’s Helen’s secret?

“I’m lucky, really. A lot of specialist nurses across the country are busy fire fighting, just trying to keep up with the workload of caring for so many patients. I have a lovely team around me and a great manager and so when I have a blue-sky idea that I want to pursue, the team will support me and help me to go out and make plans that will benefit our patients in the long run. I couldn’t do it without them.

Why does Helen think it’s important to have a urology nurse of the year award?

Nursing is among the most selfless of career choices, so it might seem strange to have a nursing award to celebrate the self. Not in Helen’s view, though.

“I think this award is so important to enthuse and motivate other nurses to see the potential in themselves. It’s all very humbling for me, and it’ll be very strange to go up on stage to receive an award, but if it is an opportunity to demonstrate to other nurses that their inquisitive nature and curiosity is a good thing and a way to think of ways to improve patient care, then that’s why this is important. I want this to be a chance to inspire others.”


Read more


Read more


Read more

Male reproductive organs

Read more