As International Nurses Day (12 May) falls on Mother’s Day this year, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the incredible work of nurses, particularly those who also happen to be mothers.
Tomorrow, members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) will reflect on the contribution they make towards the health and wellbeing of their local communities, both at work and at home.
General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, acknowledged the dedication and overall professionalism of nursing staff, regardless of the sector they work in; public, private or aged care.
“We do wish all of our members a very happy International Nurses Day this Sunday, and for the mums or mother figures among them, a very happy Mother’s Day as well,” said Mr Holmes.
“We’re not forgetting the important contribution our male nursing colleagues make either. All nurses, of all classifications, are the backbone of our health system and deserve to be recognised for the vital role they play in many people’s lives.”
Western Sydney endorsed enrolled nurse, Brett Sutherland, followed his mother’s footsteps into a nursing career.
“My mum is a great inspiration. She’s strong, caring and hardworking, and I always looked up to her. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to be a nurse. To be as hardworking and passionate as her,” Mr Sutherland said.
Judith Kiejda, Assistant General Secretary of the NSWNMA, said the work of nurses was fearless, including their longstanding pursuit to deliver safe patient care.
“Right now, the critical issue of staffing in aged care is in the spotlight,” said Ms Kiejda.
“We’ve got a heartbreaking crisis in aged care because the sector has been ignored for far too long.
“Understaffing and poor regulation has resulted in systemic neglect and we stand alongside our hard working aged care members to achieve urgent change, such as making staff ratios law in aged care.”
NSWNMA delegate, Christine Spangler, an aged care assistant in nursing and proud mum, said aged care nursing was often tough, but working within a team of skilled nursing colleagues made it very rewarding.
“I’m fortunate to work with a devoted team of nurses who support each other shift after shift,” said Ms Spangler.
“We each have an important role within our nursing team and we complement each other’s skills and experience.
“Unfortunately, that important nursing staff balance isn’t always guaranteed. We know it’s certainly not consistent across the entire aged care sector and that really needs to be addressed by government.”
International Nurses Day (12 May) is recognised on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who was instrumental in implementing the role of the modern nurse.
The NSWNMA is also part of a national campaign calling on all federal politicians to support staffing ratios in aged care www.ratiosforagedcare.com.au.
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