To mark International Nurses Day, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is highlighting the wide scope of ways nurses shape the health of all Australians.
The global day of celebration is an International Council of Nurses initiative that shines a spotlight on the crucial role nurses play in providing care at all stages of life, from birth to death. It is held on 12 May each year to acknowledge the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 1820.
“This year’s theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health. Nursing is the nation’s largest professional group. With more than 400,000 nurses in Australia we have the ability to influence the health of the nation and significantly impact global health and universal health care. All decision makers and politicians should be seeking our expert advice and solutions to address health disparity’’ ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.
“We are highly trained professionals who have specialist qualifications up to and including Masters and Doctorate level. Our workplaces are diverse and include schools, prisons, hospitals, residential aged care facilities, general practices, universities and the home of those consumers we care for, just to name a few.
“This International Nurses Day, I want Australians to reflect on how the expertise of a nurse has improved their health or that of a loved one in the last 12 months. Maybe they cared for your child, vaccinated you against COVID-19 or provided crucial support to a family member in their last moments.
“Whether you live in a rural town, regional centre or capital city, you can be assured a nurse is providing compassionate and expert care to those who need it most. We are leaders in our communities and this is reflected in our consistent rating as one of the most trusted and ethical professions in public surveys.
Adjunct Professor Ward also highlighted International Nurses Day is an important time to reflect on the immense sacrifice the profession has given to ensure Australians have remained safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the last two years, our profession has put our daily lives on hold to lead our communities through the challenges and uncertainties of multiple waves of COVID-19 and natural disasters,” she said.
“We have donned uncomfortable PPE, isolated from our families and forgone our leave to cope with increased demand, especially during the Christmas and holiday periods. Most of us have barely had a day off and we know the pandemic is far from over, particularly as winter looms.
“Despite this, my colleagues continue to show exceptional leadership and courage in the face of prolonged adversity – traits which epitomise our profession and make me incredibly proud to be a nurse. This International Nurses Day, I look forward to celebrating our collective achievements and the lasting difference we make to the lives of those we care for.