A Leading Exeter diabetes nurse has pipped over fifty thousand competitors to the international $250,000 (£200,000) Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award.

Professor Maggie Shepherd of Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and University of Exeter was crowned winner ahead of over fifty thousand medical colleagues across the globe in a ceremony held in London on International Nurses Day.

Maggie’s transformative work in monogenic diabetes – which is caused by a change in a single gene, has led to improved recognition and treatment across the UK. As a founding member of the Exeter monogenic diabetes team, her research into this condition has ensured the translation of genetic findings into clinical care through informing diabetes teams across the UK with latest knowledge and training for timeline diagnosis and effective treatment.

The Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award, established in 2021 with an aim to recognise the selfless contribution of nurses to millions of patients worldwide, received a record entry of over fifty-two thousand (52,000) across two hundred and two (202) countries this year bettering their previous year by over 116 per cent.

Speaking on her win, Professor Maggie Shepherd said: “I am deeply humbled and grateful to receive the prestigious Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award. As healthcare professionals, we are privileged to be able to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients, and I feel blessed to be part of such a rewarding profession.

“This award not only recognises my personal achievements but also highlights the importance of nursing as a critical component of healthcare. Thank you to all my colleagues, mentors, and patients who have supported me throughout my career.”

Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said:We’re incredibly proud of Maggie – this win is a huge feat and we’re delighted to see her recognised on an international stage. She has led the way in improving diabetes care across the world, as part of our pioneering team. On behalf of the university community, I’d like to congratulate Maggie on this extremely well-deserved accolade.”

Carolyn Mills, Chief Nursing Officer of Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We would like to express our heartfelt congratulations to Maggie for her achievement in winning a highly coveted award. Her efforts have had a profound impact on the lives of diabetes patients and are shaping the future of our services, which fills us with immense pride. Maggie’s hard work and dedication have been rewarded on a global scale, and we are honoured to have her as part of our team.

As a research-focused Trust that values innovation, we are privileged to collaborate with The University of Exeter on such exciting projects. Maggie’s exceptional work in the field of monogenic diabetes has been a source of inspiration to us all, and we are grateful for her invaluable contributions.”

Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare said: “We are honoured to announce Ms Margaret Helen Shepherd from the United Kingdom as the winner of this year’s Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award. She has exemplified the highest standards of patient care and dedication that is inspirational, and it deserves global recognition.

Photo credit: David Parry/PA Wire

“Each one of the top 10 finalists have done phenomenal work and the Grand Jury had a tough time assessing and selecting the final winner. We are privileged to offer Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award as a platform to share and honor the accomplishments of exceptional nurses from around the globe.”

Ms. Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare said: “Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award is a small yet significant expression of gratitude that aligns with this year’s International Nurses Day theme, ‘Our Nurses. Our Future’. Nurses ensure that patients receive high-quality care and often go beyond their call of duty to ensure that the right care is provided. This often helps them develop into other areas like research, innovation, mentorship, education, digitization among others as the stories of this year’s finalists and the winner have showcased.

“We as individuals and organizations must ensure that they receive the recognition they deserve, and this is where initiatives like Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award come into play. As a group, we will continue to support and celebrate the tireless efforts of nurses and put forth their inspiring stories of excellence.”