St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne celebrates Nursing Excellence


St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (SVHM) has held its annual Nursing Excellence Awards, recognising the merit and achievements of nurses from across our health service.

A total of twenty-eight nurses were celebrated as finalists across the below six categories.

Chief Nursing Officer’s Leadership and Excellence Award – Kath Bowman, Nurse Practitioner, Residential in Reach


Kath embodies leadership excellence by fostering teamwork, patient-centred care and a positive work environment.

She fosters a culture of continuous improvement in the team, encouraging open dialogue and facilitating courageous conversations.

Through her mentorship and dedication, Kath embodies the values of collaboration, growth and excellence within the nursing profession.

Kath consistently surpasses patient and family expectations, delivering exceptional care characterised by empathetic communication, particularly during end-of-life care.

She provides outstanding support to patients and families and inspires others to emulate her standards.

Graduate Nurse of the Year – Alice Renn, Registered Nurse, ICU


Alice is an exceptional graduate nurse who surpassed the expectations of the program. She demonstrates enthusiasm, professionalism and a high standard of knowledge at all times.

As a team player, she is the first to ask her colleagues if she can assist on the ward.

Alice has an innate ability to advocate and to lead her peers.

Postgraduate Nurse of the Year – Stephanie Spiers, Critical Care Registered Nurse, ED


Steph is a great all-rounder, with a positive attitude and excellent interpersonal skills.

She worked extremely hard during her postgrad year to become an excellent critical care nurse, allowing her to work in a difficult and demanding field. Steph is extremely compassionate and respectful with a strong sense of justice, ensuring she provides equitable care to all patients in the Emergency Department.

She is an asset to the department.

Nurse Researcher of the Year – Clarissa Torcasio, Simulation and Education Coordinator


Clarissa has been conducting research at SVHM for several years through simulation in education, trauma-informed care training of SVHM staff and, most recently, examining the perspectives of educators in providing culturally safe care to First Nations’ patients and their families.

Clarissa has a specific interest in interprofessional education, novel applications of simulation and professional skill development, and her research focuses on some of the most vulnerable patients in our care.

Her practice reflects excellence, a strong sense of justice and compassion in caring for those who are in most need, and integrity in ensuring her work is ethically sound and collaborative with those she seeks to support.

Early Career Nurse Leader – Jenny Nguyen, ANUM – General Medicine


Jenny is an Associate Nurse Unit Manager who completed her postgraduate studies in gerontology while also taking on ward-based projects.

Jenny consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty. She is a great advocate for her patients and their families, and a strong contributor to a positive and supportive work environment.

Her dedication to nursing shines through her active participation in professional growth for herself and her colleagues, and through her continuous drive to improve patient care and satisfaction.

Emerging Leader Award – Nicole Watt, Manager, Wilam Ngarrang (Aboriginal Health Unit)


Nicole’s commitment to exceeding patient and family expectations stems from her dedication to person-centred care and support that far exceeds her clinical duties.

She ensures patients and families feel, heard, safe, understood and valued.

With an approach that fosters and generates trust in people who are often wary of the hospital system, Nicole successfully advocates, communicates and negotiates for patients and families across multiple units, often within complex and stressful clinical situations.

Under Nicole’s leadership, St Vincent’s Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Service has earned a reputation that has been acknowledged a state level by government and at a national level during the hospital’s recent quality standards review.