The Nursing Service Cross was introduced in 1989 and is awarded for outstanding devotion and competence in the performance of nursing duties, or for an act of exceptional dedication in the performance of such duties. It may be awarded in both warlike and non-warlike situations. The medal is a four-stepped sterling silver straight armed cross. The obverse has a transparent red enamel cross insert on each axis, on a flecked pattern radiating from the centre of the medal. The reverse has a horizontal panel for recipient details superimposed on a design of fluted rays of varying lengths.
The ribbon has a central red vertical stripe flanked by two white stripes and edged with gold stripes.
A further award is denoted by a sterling silver bar with superimposed red enamel cross. When the ribbon is worn alone the award of a bar is indicated by a ribbon bar emblem in the form of a cross of red enamel.
Recipients of the Cross are entitled to the postnominal letters ‘NSC’. Recipients of a bar add ‘and Bar’ to the postnominal.