In May 2020, in the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, I commenced my 40th year in nursing and midwifery.
When I commenced in 1981, I never anticipated I would be the Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery for Australia’s largest Hospital and Health Service (HHS).
It is a position I cherish. Not only because I truly believe I work in the best HHS in the country but because I feel so privileged to lead nearly 10,000 Queensland nurses and midwives, who everyday give of themselves to make the lives of patients and their families the best they can possibly be.
I often call myself the Accidental Leader.
I am undertaking a role I never thought I would seek until a very wise leader suggested I apply.
Having said that, I have completely enjoyed my journey to get here, and I would not change my pathway, despite it being suggested many times in my early career that I might like to rethink my career trajectory!
Those who know me know saying that is like waving a red flag to a bull. I would never leave because someone said I couldn’t do the job, it just made me more determined to succeed.
I have learnt much, acquired skills, and worked with some amazing nursing, midwifery and interprofessional colleagues.
While my career has been through some lows, there have been many more highs and I never had any doubt it was the right path for me.
In 2020 with all that has confronted us, I have watched with pride how nurses and midwives have stepped up to the plate, led their own professions and been front and centre in the midst of pandemic planning, pandemic care and service evolution.
In addition, while the pandemic took centre stage, babies were delivered, people still required acute care, the elderly still needed support and our community and oral health services still needed to be managed.
As we move forward and hopefully get over 2020, the year of COVID-19, nurses and midwives will continue to do what they do best.
Nurses and midwives, the heartbeat of health.
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