Knowledgeable and compassionate mental health nurse

John Stuart Vernon
12 September 1962 – 15 May 2010

Sadly, John died prematurely, as all those near enough to him are aware of and are still trying to assimilate.

John trained in England but moved to Australia and in July 1993 started to work as an RN in Mental Health in rural NSW. I recall meeting him in 1994 and found him to be a wonderful clinical nurse who exemplified what most would consider as the ideal mental health nurse: patience, application of knowledge, sound judgement, and most of all fairness and compassion.

As a manager, his application of the aforementioned qualities remained a constant within an area of nursing that is renowned for its ‘greyness’. His dignity and fairness within his managerial role remained a notable quality. He always attended to his duties and did so with without much fuss or difficulty. His notable ‘wry’ grin, humour and foresight about mental health practice and its perpetual challenges will always be a treasured memory, and a yardstick for my own practice – and I am sure others will agree.

Aside from his professional role, he was a dedicated family man, and is survived by his lovely wife Jenny, and two children Charlotte and Samuel whom he loved dearly.

Nursing is much poorer for losing John, a wonderful nurse and a role model for so many. You may have left us, but you are not forgotten. I remember fondly our mediocre games of golf, our chats, and your gentle, loving nature. From all of us, we miss you mate.

By Mark Hopwood, EEN, Ramsay Health