Dr Jacqueline (Jacqui) Pich MACN is renowned in the Australian nursing profession for her leading research on occupational violence against nurses and health professionals. She is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and a Committee Chair on the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) Nurses Against Violence Taskforce.
In addition to her extensive list of accomplishments, Jacqui is also part of a special club of nurses who have had their children follow in their footsteps. Ellie Pich MACN recently finished her nursing studies and is currently in her second year of nursing at a Sydney Emergency Department.
With Mother’s Day approaching on Sunday, we caught up with Jacqui and Ellie to learn more about their respective journeys into the nursing profession and influence on each other’s careers.
For Jacqui, a personal experience involving her mother was a pivotal factor in her choosing a career in nursing.
“My mum was one of my strongest influences and she battled with chronic illness throughout her life,” she says.
“She had an amazing work ethic and rarely complained. I saw the change when there was good nursing care and the impact it had on my mum’s recovery. The experience showed me how strong nurses were and the difference they made.”
Likewise, Ellie credits her mother as a pivotal influence in her choice to study nursing, although in a more indirect manner.
“My mum never forced a career in nursing on me,” she says.
“It was only when I did my own research that I fully discovered what an amazing career nursing was and the opportunities it offered. Mum was an amazing support throughout my studies.”
The pair’s nursing paths first crossed when Ellie enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing at UTS, where her mother was working as a Lecturer in Nursing.
“Initially, I was nervous going to the same university where she was teaching, but she never marked my work,” Ellie says.
“However, whenever mum needed a volunteer, I was always roped in…”
Jacqui fondly recalls one particular example of this when she needed an actor for an assessment module for a first-year nursing course she was teaching.
“Ellie acted in a video module I was making for an assessment which showcased examples of what a good and bad nurse looked like,” she says.
“Past students still recognise her today as the nurse from that video!”
Jacqui went on to share her pride in watching her daughter grow into the type of nurse she is today.
“When I look back, both my husband and I could see that Ellie had all the makings of a really good nurse,” she says.
“I’m just in awe of the stories she comes home with and tells me about how she advocates for patients and stands up to people. I’m really proud of her and I can see she has a long career ahead of her.”
In conclusion, Ellie reiterated the contribution and support her mother has had on her personal and professional life.
“My mum is wonderful and has always gone above and beyond for me,” she says.
“It is amazing that her research is helping me in my work in the Emergency Department. It also really helps to have somebody who understands the nursing workforce and is great to talk to when I am having a bad day.
“She is a great female leader and I am proud the next generation of nurses get to learn from her.”
ACN would like to wish all the mother’s in our tribe a very happy Mother’s Day!