Celebrating Nurses Being Bold For Change
International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the significant changes nursing practice and the nursing workforce have undergone and implemented.

“This year’s theme is #BeBoldforChange and the nursing profession has a proud history of being bold to achieve change that improves patient health and safety,” Australian College of Nursing Chief Executive Officer, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward commended.

“Nurses are outstanding advocates for patients and their families. As a profession, we have long stood up for what we believe in. We have done this on an individual level, such as a nurse demanding quality care for a single patient, through to championing for nurses to be fully respected as an integral member of the care team and policy debate.”

International Women’s Day 2017 is aiming to forge a better working world. The nursing profession is an example of one profession that has successfully taken up this challenge.

“Perhaps nowhere can this be better seen than the changes we have achieved in scope of practice,” Adjunct Professor Ward said. “Today the skills, insight and capability of nurses are more highly respected than ever before.”

The result is a huge variety of opportunities for nurses to contribute to healthcare and pursue a fulfilling career.

“People may not fully realise the range of capability and experience nurses earn over their working life, but nurses’ skills extend beyond providing excellent clinical care. Their interests and skills can see them run their own business, drive policy development and change, and lead and manage teams and organisations.”

Ros Turnley MACN has certainly seen her willingness to ‘be bold for change’ take her nursing career through many transformations. Ros first started working as a nurse in 1966 and over the course of her career has worked in hospitals, as the sole health professional in remote holiday locations – which included driving an ambulance – and as a school nurse.

Today Ros is one of Australia’s many nurse entrepreneurs. She runs her own business which integrates all her knowledge and qualifications to help people get the most from life through personal and professional development.

Adjunct Associate Professor Naomi Dobroff MACN has forged a pathway in the relatively new world of health informatics. The Chief Nursing Information Officer at Monash Health, Naomi is helping ensure nurses inform development of technological advances so they support quality patient care and augment, rather than obstruct, best practice.

“It says a lot to have a major health service recognise the importance of having nurses involved in the governance, introduction and implementation of health technology, like the electronic medical record,” Adjunct Professor Ward said. “It shows an understanding of the centrality of nurses in patient care and the value they add.

“What nurses like Naomi and Ros show us is that the abilities and potential of nurses are limitless. On International Women’s Day I take my hat off to all the nurses around Australia and praise them for being agents of change for the better.”

International Women’s Day is 8 March 2017.