Current Emerging Nurse Leaders | Australian College of Nursing

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Current Emerging Nurse Leaders

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Anna Messenger (Stage 1 ENL)

Anna became interested in nursing as a teenager however chose to move to remote Queensland rather than continuing study. After a few years in Queensland she decided to move back to Canberra to commence her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Canberra. On graduation Anna plans to obtain several years’ experience in multiple areas of nursing before pursuing her passion for remote nursing. Anna has already been seeking opportunities to broaden her experience to assist with her goals. Anna has held multiple positions on the University of Canberra Nursing Society committee to begin developing leadership skills and volunteering for St John as a first aider. Anna has recently completed a placement in Alice Springs, which has increased her passion for remote nursing.

Holly Martin (Stage 1 ENL)

Holly was born in Cape Town, South Africa and, at the age of 12, moved with her family to Dunedin, New Zealand. At University, Holly initially studied law and politics in New Zealand, completing her first two undergraduate degrees in 2012. Holly moved to Perth in 2013 and, after working in a Law firm and running a successful business, she made the life-changing decision that her real life focus is in the care of others and applied to the Bachelor of Nursing program at Notre Dame University in Fremantle. Now in her third year, Holly has achieved at an excellent standard, being the recipient of two academic and commitment to Nursing awards. Holly has held a number of positions in the University of Notre Dame Nursing Society and, in 2016, was accepted as a member of the International Honour Society of Nursing. Holly’s approach is hands on and she has found great satisfaction working in teams in Emergency Departments and in critical care during her most recent practicums. However, Holly sees herself as ultimately combining Law with Nursing, aspiring to work internationally and nationally developing public health policy.

Jen Hummelshoj (Stage 1 ENL)

Jen decided to pursue a career in nursing after 12 years in the Australian Public Service, where she had worked in policy roles spanning defence, international development and foreign affairs. Though it may seem an unusual career change, Jen says that her motivation for both career paths is similar - she has always felt drawn to work that 'makes a difference'. During her nursing studies at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Canberra, Jen undertook an ACU-sponsored internship where she worked as part of a multidisciplinary research team at the Centre for Palliative Care Research (Calvary Health Care). She has also undertaken volunteer work supporting the families of babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Canberra Hospital.

Judith Lee (Stage 1 ENL)

Judith was drawn to the nursing profession after witnessing firsthand the impact nurses can make through compassion and scientific knowledge. Currently completing her final year of Bachelor of Nursing at the Australian Catholic University, Judith is actively engaged in the student community through peer mentoring of first-year nursing students. She aims to practice principles of leadership during her work in mental health, to work for the empowerment of patients, and to provide health care catered for each individual.

Madeleine Graham (Stage 1 ENL)

Madeleine has been passionate about working in health care for as long as she can remember, and is thrilled to be in her final year of study at the Australian Catholic University in Canberra. Whist studying full time, Madeleine also enjoys volunteering for a number of organisations where she is able to be involved in and give back to the community whilst immersing herself in a health related environment. Having lived overseas for a significant part of her life, Madeleine has experienced a variety of healthcare systems and is looking forward to completing a nursing placement in Vanuatu later this year. Madeleine's nursing interests lie in oncology, paediatrics, and neonatal intensive care, and she one day hopes to pursue a Master's of Midwifery. Madeleine feels privileged to be part of the ENL program and is grateful for the personal and professional development opportunities it has given her.

Mitchell Dagger (Stage 1 ENL)

Mitchell grew up in the small town of Nabiac on the Mid North Coast of NSW. After starting a degree in Exercise Physiology his passion for assisting others to achieve their best health outcomes and making a difference in the rural community led him to switch to studying Nursing. Mitchell joined the ENL program after attending the ACN National Nursing Forum last year as a student, which inspired him to make a change and participate in the program to better himself as a health professional. His main interest lies in the field of mental health and rural and remote health care. Upon completion of his studies through the University of New England this year Mitchell hopes to start a New Grad Program on the Coffs Coast.

Priscilla Bryan (Stage 1 ENL)

After working 20+ years successfully in the private sector holding senior customer service, strategy & operational roles, Priscilla acted upon her desire to do work with a higher purpose in her community and started nursing. During her tenure at the Australian Catholic University (North Sydney) Priscilla has taken advantage of every opportunity available including being selected for the St Vincent's Clinical School, travelling to Italy to learn about the plight and treatment of refugees and Roma people, teaching first aid and promoting good health practices to villages in East Timor, and experiencing healthcare in a rural setting with a placement at Broken Hill. She has very much enjoyed the return to study, and sees nursing as a path to lifelong learning which she relishes. Her interests are around the modern day plague of chronic illness, and she would like to be at the forefront of educating and promoting better health to those populations most at risk. The Emerging Nurse Leader Program opens up new avenues for Priscilla to further enhance leadership skills in the nursing context and health environment through the valued experience of those that have come before her.

Sarah Moon (Stage 2 ENL)

Sarah lives in Lismore, NSW and is a graduate nurse in the Northern NSW Health Local Health District graduate program. She joined the ENL program after going to the ACN National Nursing Forum last year as a student and was so inspired by the conference and presentations she wanted to do her bit. Sarah loves interacting with patients and, being an ex-hairdresser of ten years, gets great satisfaction from the interaction between herself and the patients. She is really interested in emergency/critical/surgical care as she really like the teams she has come across that work in these areas and really loves to think on her feet.

Suzanne Volejnikova-Wenger (Stage 1 ENL)

Suzanne completed her first nursing education a while ago in Switzerland. Life intervened, but the heart of nursing was somehow always part of either employment or volunteering throughout those years. After completing the Bachelor of Nursing Science at the University of the Sunshine Coast as a mature aged student, she is now undertaking another year of study to complete her Honours in Nursing. Working in both public and private health care, as well as continuing with peer support as Chair of the USC Nursing and Midwifery Alumni Network, Suzanne sees the Emerging Nurse Leader program as a wonderful way of networking, being challenged and growing further as a nurse. 

Tammie Breneger (Stage 1 ENL)

Tammie came into nursing after more than 20 years working her way through the other uniformed vocations (professions) being hospitality, Policing and Corrections; and the imminent arrival of her baby son. She has always had a passion for helping others whilst developing new skills and discovering opportunities to test her skills. Her hope is to become an ED nurse practitioner. Tammie live in Kempsey and studies at Southern Cross University (SCU), Coffs Harbour campus. She has taken the lead in establishing a student nursing society at SCU and sits as the student representative for Student Misconduct Appeals Committee and the School of Health and Human Sciences discipline committee. She is actively involved in peer mentoring 1st year students and clinical skills mentoring for 2nd year students. Tammie won a NSW Health scholarship in 2016 to attend the ACN National Nursing Forum and from there was asked to apply for the ENL program. She was instantly overwhelmed and humbled by the amazing people that she met and felt that she had found her professional niche. Whilst she is not sure where her journey with ACN will lead her she is excited for what the future holds. 

Andrea Jansen (Stage 2 ENL)

Andrea’s passion in nursing is being able to support/advocate for individuals during ill-health and equip them with the knowledge and skills to be an active participant in their health and wellbeing. Andrea completed a Bachelor of Health Science (majors: Public Health/Psychological Studies) in 2012, and received a scholarship from the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) to work as Health Promotion Project Officer. Although enjoying this role, Andrea's childhood dream of becoming a nurse remained, leading her to complete a Master of Nursing Science (entry-to-practice) in 2015. Andrea is currently undertaking an 18-month graduate program (rotations in mental health and general medicine/surgery) and continually seeks to contribute to nursing and the community through a range of voluntary commitments. Andrea's professional interests include primary health care, wound management, education and leadership. Andrea’s professional goals are to add to student learning experiences, increase leadership capacity of nurses and enhance interprofessional communication and collaboration.

Caroline Irle (Stage 2 ENL)

Caroline embarked on nursing to further her career in e-health but fell in love with the profession. With a science background, Caroline completed postgraduate studies and a certification in eHealth, which sparked a special passion for rural and remote health. Caroline is now pursuing this further by completing her graduate program in a remote community in South West Queensland. Working in health professional education for the past decade, Caroline is deeply passionate about professional development and supporting the continued education of all. She hopes that by participating in ACN’s ENL program, she will be able to develop her leadership skills for the benefit of the local community as well as contribute to the nursing profession.

Craig Sullivan (Stage 2 ENL)

After extensive travel and a background in Hospitality Management, Craig became interested in the multifaceted career that is nursing. Witnessing health care all over the globe in his many endeavours, he decided to pursue a career in nursing as a means to give back to the community and empower the voice of those in their times of need. Craig was recognised throughout his degree for his conscientious application to the course and as a mentor to his colleagues. He was awarded a prestigious scholarship by NaMO, and was chosen to attend the 2016 ACN National Nursing Forum in Melbourne, recognised as a young leader in his cohort. At the completion of his degree he received the Mental Health Nursing Excellence award from Avondale College of Higher Education. He soon after became involved with ACN, with an avid interest in educating and mentoring nursing students; and a future endeavour to become a Nurse Leader in the health sector and the community. He is currently completing his Transition to Professional Practice program within the Central Coast LHD (NSW).

Jackson Vukovic (Stage 2 ENL)

Jackson is a new graduate Registered Nurse and has commenced his graduate nursing year at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne in both surgical and rehabilitation settings. Following this, he hopes to gain experience in both cardiac and community nursing environments. Jackson completed his Bachelor of Nursing at Australian Catholic University (ACU) in 2016, at both their Sydney and Melbourne campuses. In addition, he also completed a semester exchange program to The Catholic University of America in Washington DC, USA in 2015. During his time with ACU, he was able to participate in a health care teaching expedition to communities around Timor Leste with the School of Nursing. Prior to commencing his nursing studies Jackson worked at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney in administration, and he was a volunteer health education teacher and staff member in rural villages around the south coast of Kenya throughout 2013. Jackson’s passions lay in the areas of public health, teaching, international travel and being a part of programs that enhance quality of and access to health care for marginalised populations both within Australia and internationally. Jackson is excited to be a part of the ENL program for 2017 as he hopes to learn as much as he can from experienced nurses, in the aim of developing his career projection.  

Kat Loader (Stage 2 ENL)

Kat first became interested in nursing when she volunteered at the Royal Hobart Hospital in 2014. Since this time, she has completed a Bachelor of Nursing Fast Track at the University of Tasmania and is currently undertaking a transition to practice program on an acute rehabilitation ward in Hobart, Tasmania. Kat has pursued her leadership development by completing the University of Tasmania’s Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Program in 2016, and is currently Tasmania’s State Coordinator for the Australian Student and Novice Nurses Association.  She believes that the Australian College of Nursing’s Emerging Nurse Leader program provides vital support and further leadership development that will assist her in achieving her dream of working as an Emergency Nurse and becoming a Nurse Educator in the future

Lucy Osborn (Stage 2 ENL)

Lucy is a 22-year-old from Tasmania who is currently living and working in Adelaide. Whilst growing up Lucy was exposed to many aspects of health care through her mother and sister, although both worked in emergency, they had experiences in drug and alcohol and teaching, that inspired her to join the industry. Lucy's goals are to incorporate international health into university and health care across Australia, and to be a leader/role model for young nurses, ensuring the health care industry is a safe environment, conducive to learning and professional development. 

Melanie Eslick (Stage 2 ENL)

After a long career in academic publishing, supplemented by practice as a clinical nutritionist, Mel decided to build on her health studies. She had a tree change to Tasmania, where she is an oncology nurse in a Transition to Practice program in Hobart and regularly volunteers for Melanoma Tasmania, developing their social media presence. At the University of Tasmania Mel studied the fast-track Bachelor of Nursing, as well as an extension degree, the Bachelor of Philosophy, which allowed her to pursue leadership- and research-specific subjects. This led to a research internship at the Menzies Institute of Medical Research, working under an esteemed epidemiologist, which in turn led to the opportunity to undertake research Honours through the Institute from July 2017. With keen interests in compassionate care, preventative healthcare and public health, Mel's passion is research and, first through the UTAS Vice Chancellor's Leadership Award in 2016 and now via the ENL program, she is aligning her prior career experience, strengths, values and interests to one day combine them as a research leader and academic. In the meantime, she hopes to inspire nursing students and graduates to consider research as a career option, whether as researchers, clinical trial nurses, or research participants.

Andrew Dean (Stage 3 ENL)

Andrew Dean is a specialist in Aged Care Nursing and information technology. He is a qualified Nurse Immuniser in Victoria and an Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) specialist. He graduated in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Nursing Practice and has worked as Nurse in Charge, Clinical Services Manager (CSM) and Acting Director of Nursing (DON) within residential aged care facilities (RACF). Prior to Nursing, Andrew worked as an Engineer and IT Consultant working with large mining and commercial firms. With this prior experience he brings with him extensive knowledge on project management and implementation on the small and large scale. His major interest is researching and developing alternative care models for Aged Care in Australia focusing on transformational human centred design. The care models aim to incorporate all aspects of holistic caring for the aged in RACFs including building design and IT implementations to improve resident health and vitality. Through the Emerging Nurse Leader program Andrew hopes to contribute to furthering the profile of Aged Care Nursing and assist ACN by enhancing health care via nurturing and advancing nurse leadership.

Antonia Yiakkoupis (Stage 3 ENL)

Antonia currently works as a Clinical Nurse in the Infectious Disease Unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in Brisbane. After completing a Bachelor of Nursing at The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2014, she was fortunate enough to receive a position at Ipswich Hospital in the Orthopaedic Unit as a Graduate Registered Nurse. When she later moved on to work at the PAH to progress her career by attaining a Clinical Nurse role. Antonia is motivated by her hunger to expand her knowledge and skills, and is very fortunate to have this opportunity to expand on her leadership skills through the ENL program. She has aspirations of progressing her career and becoming a Nurse Unit Manager. Antonia is excited to have been a successful candidate for the Emerging Nurse Leader program with ACN and is looking forward to all the new opportunities of meeting people in her industry.

Ariela Rother (Stage 3 ENL)

Ariela Rother is so grateful to be among the cohort of the 2017 ACN Emerging Nurse Leaders. Ariela is currently working at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) Brisbane, Australia in the Department of Urology. After completing a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Southern Queensland 2015, she was fortunate to receive a position in the PAH Permanent Nurse Pool graduate program in 2016 where she was exposed to a variety of nursing specialties. This program increased her confidence in communication and allowed her to develop the skills to become a resilient and adaptable nurse. Ariela is always looking for opportunities within nursing to promote quality and safe patient care. Ariela has a passion for health informatics and hopes to be involved in this area for rural and remote Australia in the future. Ariela is excited to work and collaborate with future nurse leaders to reach our potential and make change happen on a local, national and international level. 

Emma Bugden (Stage 3 ENL)

Emma Bugden graduated as an EN in 2011 and worked in both the aged and acute care sectors while studying for her Bachelor of Nursing at University of South Australia. After graduating in 2014, Emma completed 8 months of her Graduate Nurses Program in the Alice Springs Hospital before taking the position of Project Manager for the OpT In Trial with Menzies School of Health Research. Emma has lived in four countries and raised two children and has a background in nursing and ethics. She is passionately interested in inspired leadership, effective and supportive management, building strong communities and rural and remote nursing practice. 

Hannah Smith (Stage 3 ENL)

Hannah’s enthusiasm in health care has been present for her entire adult career. Starting her journey by completing a Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic) and working in the pre-hospital emergency field, Hannah gained a solid foundation for systematic approach and patient focused care. After completing a Bachelor of Nursing at the Queensland University of Technology (2014), Hannah commenced a graduate position in the Post-Anaesthetic Care Unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Hannah has also expanded her skillset by working in the Army Reserves. Motivated by a hunger to expand her knowledge base Hannah is currently completing a Master’s in Clinical Nursing at the University of Tasmania. She has aspirations of becoming a Clinical Nurse in the perioperative department and contributing to projects to assist graduate nurses transition into the workplace to ensure positive patient outcomes with the unique challenges in this environment. 

Hollie Jaggard (Stage 3 ENL)

Hollie found nursing through a chance encounter in 2011 while looking for a career change. After completing her Diploma of Nursing as a traineeship in 2013, Hollie continued her learning completing a Bachelor of Nursing at Monash University in 2015. After completing her Graduate year at Frankston Hospital during 2016, with rotations in Emergency, general medical and general surgical, she has secured a permanent position in the Frankston Emergency Department. While completing her graduate year Hollie also completed an Honours Degree in Nursing. She plans to continue her studies with Monash University, applying to study her Masters’ of Nursing (Emergency stream) in 2018. Meanwhile Hollie has commenced a Transition to Specialty Practice program, which is in its first year running in the ED at Frankston Hospital. Hollie is thrilled to be a part of the ACN ENL program, and is enjoying the collegiality and mentorship the program provides. Hollie has a passion for education and learning, and hopes to combine this with leadership roles in the future.

Rosie Eastoe (Stage 3 ENL)

Rosie loves nursing and its many challenges. Working at St Vincent’s Public Hospital in Melbourne, she’s in her third year of nursing. So far she’s been fortunate to work on various wards within the hospital, spending the last two years participating in St Vincent’s supportive rotational years, and this year finding a base on the Neurosurgery ward. Growing up by the banks of the Murray River in Victoria’s regional town Mildura, Rosie has spent time all over Victoria. Her developing interest in promoting public health led her to take on further study this year, undertaking an immunisation course through ACN. Rosie is looking forward to working within the community as a practicing immunisation nurse. As she broadens her hospital experience, she also has her eyes set on further postgraduate studies, particularly in the intensive care environment. She applied for the ENL program after being inspired and motivated at the ACN National Nursing Forum in Melbourne in 2016. Rosie was excited to be chosen to participate, and is looking forward to meeting others, continuing to learn every day and seeing where her nursing career takes her in the future.

Samantha Petric (Stage 4 ENL)

Samantha is a Registered Nurse with four years’ experience working within the domains of rural/remote nursing within Australia and metropolitan hospitals in Sydney. She has worked in four different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and research settings. Samantha is a currently completing her Master of Philosophy (Nursing) degree and is in the Australian College of Nursing’s Emerging Nurse Leader Program. Samantha continues to undertake a decolonising approach to her professional and research practice including completion of Cultural Safety Training with CATSINaM.

Emily Wardell (Stage 5 ENL)

Emily entered nursing later in life after a management career in the corporate sector in Spain and Australia, developing strong skills in communication, language and business operations. Remembering her interest in nursing 17 years earlier when she worked as a Carer in Aged Care, she completed a Master of Nursing Science in 2011. She found her niche in community home nursing at Royal District Nursing Service in Melbourne, where she is currently in a senior leadership role. 

Emily’s passion lies in identifying individual learning needs and empowering staff to grow and develop to their potential, with the ultimate goal to deliver quality care to clients. She is always looking for improvement opportunities and is enthusiastic about driving positive change. Her inherent qualities of integrity, customer focus and personal responsibility underpin all she does.

Jenyfer Joy (2015 ENL)

Jenyfer's interest in the health profession began after witnessing the compassionate care nurses provided to critically ill patients in Australia and internationally. Jenyfer's passion for health education and the incredible opportunity to be a significant part of the patient's journey to recovery, inspired her to pursue the nursing profession. Over the last several years, Jenyfer has cared for patients requiring rehabilitation post brain and spinal injury. Witnessing the amazing progress patients make from being paralysed to being able to be independent, has deepened her passion for learning about the human body and enhancing healthcare practice. Currently, Jenyfer is working as a registered nurse at Westmead hospital and is undertaking her Master's degree.

When not working, Jenyfer pursues her passion for health education by providing mentoring and tuition to Indigenous Australian nursing students. In 2015, Jenyfer spent over four weeks as a health education volunteer in rural Cambodian schools and communities where she shared her knowledge on basic life support and general first aid. Through practicing the principals of cultural sensitivity and leadership, Jenyfer was able to collaborate with Cambodian non-governmental organisations and communities to empower community members to incorporate the principles of basic life support with traditional practices.

Jenyfer strongly believes that nurses are significant change agents in the healthcare system and have the power to build healthier communities through greater involvement in health education, cultural sensitivity and participation in leadership roles.

Serena Ricciardone (2015 ENL)

A intrinsic desire to lead and influence Serena held a number of student representation positions including President of the Notre Dame Nursing Society, WA ASSANA representative and WASHN committee member. As a commitment to developing leadership capabilities Serena attended the ACN Leadership First course and is proactive in mentoring student nurses and other graduate nurses within the workplace.

Serena is currently completing her Graduate year at Princess Margaret Hospital with is a mix of medical and surgical rotations. Following the program completion in August she will be staying on her current long-term surgical ward and will commence postgraduate studies in Paediatric Nursing with ACN.