Toowoomba nurse Nancy Shah MACN is driven to ensuring her passion and skills for leadership contribute to creating a better future for the nurses of tomorrow.
“Since childhood, I wanted to work in the health field, but my father’s sudden death drove my desire to fruition for a career in the health sector,” she says of her journey into the nursing profession.
“I studied and worked as a Medical Scientist in India and, in my mid 20’s, I decided to come to Australia and change careers to nursing. I studied nursing at the University of Southern Queensland and enjoyed making a difference in the client’s life. Every step in my nursing degree and nursing career has made me realise it is the right career path for me.”
This career change has seen the nursing profession gain an innovative nurse leader.
“As a leader, I am committed to raise the profile of our profession and attract a new generation of nurses,” she says.
“I have taken every opportunity available to do this including being a clinical lead in a multidisciplinary project and role modelling early-career and student nurses. I am also a Co-Chair in Nursing and Midwifery Specific Professional Practice Model at Darling Downs Health.”
In February 2020, Nancy took another opportunity to develop her leadership skills by participating in ACN’s Mid-Career Nurse Leadership program.
“I attended a five-day masterclass for the program in Canberra who have influenced my career direction and helped me find my ‘why’,” Nancy says.
“The Leaders shared their knowledge and skills in a highly structured way and provided tools to boost confidence in my leadership journey. This was especially the case for Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward’s FACN topic, “Professionalism and public speaking, act as a reflective exercise for me.” For this, we were asked to give a 3-minute speech about ourselves, our values and passions. This speech made me reflect on my inner driving force and ask who am I and what is my purpose in life both personally and professionally? This exercise was followed by feedback which again ascertained my why and gave me future direction.”
“Professor Christine Duffield’s FACN exercise made me reflect on different layers of nursing leaders in organisations and also highlighted the importance of effective communication between nursing leaders and the impact it has on patient care.”
As a driven nurse-leader, Nancy also highlights the importance of highlighting the role nurses play in communities to the broader public, which has been heightened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe that nurses are central to addressing a wide range of health challenges,” she says.
“From birth to death, every aspect of human life is influenced by a nurse. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the role of nursing and health care has risen in importance and nurses are making an invaluable contribution to the health of people globally. The general public has realised the important role nurses play in the life of everyday individuals.”
She ends by thanking the health care workers for the contribution they have made to society throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers, she says.
“In these difficult and uncertain times, look after your mental health, reach out for support if needed. Stay safe, stay strong, stay together and support each other.”