ENNISKILLEN care worker, Hazel McKee, has been rewarded for her exceptional efforts looking after individuals and helping society with a nomination in the prestigious NI Independent Care Awards 2012.

Hazel, who works at the Tilery Nursing Home in Florencecourt, is one of three finalists in the Registered Nurse category .

Despite such a demanding job, she has never had a day off sick in 16 years working with Tilery Nursing Homes.

Hazel is renowned for both her hard work and her great attitude, that colleagues say rubs off on everyone else and is of great benefit to everyone in the home - both residents and staff.

Her Nurse Manager said: "She has a dedication to nursing which is an inspiration to her colleagues.� Hazel sees every obstacle as a challenge to overcome. She comes to work with empathy and a sense of humour and this has a ripple effect throughout the shift. Hazel is a fantastic mentor to all the care assistants and other nurses. She is always thinking about somebody else before herself."

Ivy Wilson, a 100-year-old resident at the home, said: "Hazel has been very kind and good and very obliging at every call. She is a wonderful nurse, willing and agreeable."

The Care Awards are an opportunity to recognise the quality and commitment of staff working in the Independent Health and Social Care sector in Northern Ireland . Outstanding staff will be acknowledged for the enormous contribution they make to society and the individuals they care for. The seven award categories attracted over 120 nominations for community care staff, including those working in nursing and residential homes and those providing care for people in their own homes.

This year's awards are being sponsored by Priory Group, who run seven homes in Counties Antrim and Down. Potential nominations were scrutinised by an independent panel of judges before being shortlisted for a gong.

The awards, comp�red by local TV personality Julian Simmons, will be presented at a Gala evening on Wednesday, September 5, in the Ramada Hotel, Shaws Bridge , Belfast .