Her statement follows a campaign by RCN Scotland pushing for all NHS staff to be rewarded in a similar way to consultants.
Distinction awards are paid to consultants for outstanding professional work. They are worth between £31,468 and £74,768 a year on top of salaries.
Scotland's budget for distinction awards for consultants in 2009/10 is £28m. RCN Scotland estimates £2.7m would fill the current 163 vacant community nursing posts.
Theresa Fyffe, RCN Scotland director, said: ‘I would be pleased to work with the cabinet secretary to ensure that a review group to consider how all NHS staff should be rewarded for excellence can be set up as soon as possible.'
- Should all NHS staff receive distinction awards as consultants do?