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High praise for remote area nurse

A registered nurse working as the sole health practitioner in the small coastal town of Coral Bay has been named Western Australia's 2012 Nurse of the Year.

Kristy Cooper, who also won the rural and remote category, was awarded the top honours at the WA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards held on Saturday.

She was one of 16 nurses and midwives from throughout WA to win one of the 15 award categories, acknowledging the outstanding contribution of nurses to areas such research, education and health promotion.

WA Health Minister, Dr Kim Hames said while all of the 2012 finalists were impressive, the solo practitioner stood out for her professionalism and strong commitment to remote practice.

"Ms Cooper is an exceptional remote area nurse who was nominated for this award by her peers for her commitment to providing acute care, educating emerging rural and remote nurses, and developing primary health and prevention programs," he said.

"Having indigenous heritage herself, she also has a strong passion for helping Aboriginal people have better access to health care."

Cooper has also received a government scholarship to study to become a nurse practitioner.

The winners were chosen from 42 finalists and included Curtin University’s Janice Butt who won a Lifetime Achievement award for her profound impact on midwifery education in WA over her 33-year career.

Other category winners included:

Research and Innovative Practice: Pauline Sheehan - South Metropolitan Mental Health Health Service, Alma St

Graduate of the Year: Cathy Trunkfield - Fremantle Hospital and Health Service

Residential and Aged Care:  Linda Maitland - Brightwater Care Group, Marangaroo House

Education: Rosemary Saunders - The University of Western Australia

The full list of winners can be found at; www.wanmea.com.au/

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