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International Nurses Day

In my opinion, nurses are the backbone of medicine. They see the patient every day, advocate for them and do the best they can with limited resources. I know because I was a registered nurse and know intimately how tough it is.

Our nurses were there for us through Covid 19 crisis and are still there. They’re not paid enough nor celebrated enough for what they do.

Every year on May 12th, which is the birthday of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, we honour nurses and the important work they do for our communities’ health and happiness.

International Nurses Day (IND) is a special time for nurses to take a break, think about the amazing difference they make, and celebrate being part of the profession they care about deeply. It’s alright saying this, however nurses rarely get to slow down and celebrate anything because they’re run off their feet. I encourage you to appreciate and celebrate them.

girl in blue jacket holding red and silver ring

What you can do if you’re a nurse

The following is adapted from Australian College of Nursing (A.C.N) website.

  1. Host an Australian College of Nursing (A.C.N.) breakfast. Registrations for free host kits have now closed, but you can still join in on the fun! Simply download our digital props and decorate your workspace! Download digital props here.
  2. Attend an event, such as a local breakfast gathering or a virtual celebration, and snap some photos to share on social media using the hashtag #acnbreakfast. This helps spread awareness and encourages others to join in the celebration of nurses.
  3. Share your pride in being a nurse by posting a heartfelt message or story on social media. You could talk about why you chose nursing, a memorable experience you’ve had, or the positive impact you’ve witnessed in your community. This not only boosts morale among fellow nurses but also highlights the importance of the nursing profession to the public.
  4. Show appreciation for your colleagues by sending them a thoughtful message, giving them a shoutout on social media, or even surprising them with a small token of appreciation. Recognizing and acknowledging the hard work and dedication of your peers fosters a supportive and positive work environment.
  5. Take some time to indulge in self-care and treat yourself to something special. Whether it’s a relaxing bubble bath, a delicious treat, or a leisurely activity you enjoy, prioritizing your own well-being is essential for maintaining resilience and happiness in your nursing career.

My granddaughter loves what nurses do

You may know from last year my granddaughter began her nursing degree and I interviewed her on Conversations with Cait. She’s now in second year and loving it, so much so she has a job as an Assistant in Nursing (A.I.N.) and is learning so much more about patient care.

This year I couldn’t disturb her precious time to interview her because she’s working diligently at university, her job and having fun. She’s an amazing young lady and has planned her career path already, while living life.

She kindly took the time to answer the following questions.

How does the workload in your second year compare to your first year as a nursing student?

  • The workload of the second year is definitely heavier than that of the first year. It’s more in-depth and important.

Have you noticed any significant differences in the types of clinical experiences you’re having this year compared to last year?

  • Yes. Our clinical experiences are definitely different from the first year since we have more skills we can apply. The first year was just getting us introduced to the healthcare environment. This year, I feel actively involved in it.

Are there any new skills or procedures you’re learning in your second year that you didn’t encounter in your first year?

  • Yes. We have a variety of more skills we are able to do. First year was more about understanding what are appropriate vital signs, personal hygiene and also engaging in therapeutic relationships etc. This year we are able to interpret vital signs in the sense of when it not appropriate, we are able to utilise medications if necessary. With that, we are able to administer medications etc. There were so many more skills.

Have your perceptions of the nursing profession changed since starting your second year?

  • I don’t think they really have to be honest. I think second year is what people join nursing for. First year are the skills that are not spoken about when people mention nursing. I think I still have the same perceptions.

Are there any particular challenges you’ve encountered in your second year that you didn’t expect?

  • As an introverted person, my challenge was overcoming this. Due to my skills allowing me to be more actively involved, I am also involved in paging doctor, speaking to doctors and providing education to patients. There is a lot more conversation and pressure in this sense. However, I was able to easily overcome this.

How does the level of responsibility differ between your role as a second-year student nurse and your role as an assistant nurse?

  • Again, the level of skills and ability to interpret these skills are significantly different. However, the environment of both these positions are very different.

Are there any aspects of nursing that you’re finding more enjoyable or fulfilling in your second year?

  • I have loved understanding pharmacology and physiology. Although it is heavy subject and easy to fall behind in due to the workload, I Find it fascinating how medication is able to interact with the body. It also makes me feel more comfortable administering it.

Looking back, is the reality of being a second-year nursing student different from what you imagined it would be?

  • Yes. It is what I entered nursing for. Like I had mentioned, I feel I am actively involved in the healthcare team and I am learning new skills and theories.

I want to thank my granddaughter so much for taking the time out of her busy life to answer these questions. She’s a beautiful, caring human being and I love her very much.

The wrap up

Let’s use International Nurses Day to celebrate the work all nurses do. Share stories of nurses you know or have cared for you on social media. Tag me so I can share those stories too, use #internationalnursesday2024.

If you found this blog insightful and would like to read more of my blog posts, simply click here.

And if you’re looking for some freebies, I invite you to check out my free resources page. You can access it by clicking here.


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