Celebrating International Nurses Day

Friday, 12th of May is International Nurses Day where nurses are celebrated and recognised across the globe. We profile four of Australia’s 250,000 nurses and the different pathways their careers have taken them.

Erin, Registered Nurse

Erin has spent the last 13 years working in the aged care industry. Now in her role as the Hunter Clinical Leader, she is involved with ensuring Calvary Retirement Communities’ clinical systems and operations meet the ever changing needs of Calvary’s resident population and staff base within the Hunter services.

Erin grew up in Lemon Tree Passage and went to school at Waratah then Jesmond. She has always had an interest in becoming a nurse. In high school Erin completed a Certificate III Assistant in Nursing and a school based traineeship at Calvary Tanilba Shores Retirement Community.

Erin entered the workforce at 17 and has since completed a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) and a Masters of Nursing Management while also balancing family life as a wife and mother.

“I have worked in four of our facilities within Retirement Communities. It has certainly been a great journey. I have held many roles including an Assistant in Nursing, a Team Leader, a Registered Nurse, Pain Therapy Nurse, Care Coordinator and ACFI Coordinator”.

“I chose to become a nurse because I enjoy the interpersonal side of nursing. The part where you are connected with people on a personal and emotional level. I originally got into aged care to see if I would even like nursing. As it turns out, I loved it!”.

“I feel passionate about creating opportunities for our residents to enjoy their lives, to keep achieving goals which are important to them, and to continue to grow and develop as we should all experience throughout our lives”. 

Erin says the best thing about working for Calvary is the flexibility and support. “I have been lucky to have been afforded the time and space to grow and flourish within Calvary, to follow my passions and interest’s and hopefully give back as much as I have taken”.

Nya, studying to be a Registered Nurse

Nya currently works as a Team Leader of Care at Calvary Ryde Retirement Community. “I support the staff at Calvary Ryde and liaise with medical professionals to make sure our residents are cared for”.

Born in Liberia in West Africa Nya moved to Australia in 2005 with his brothers and sisters. He now lives in Sydney with his three children and enjoys spending time with them, playing soccer and supporting his favourite soccer team Chelsea FC.

Nya has worked in the aged care industry for eight years. His first role at Calvary Ryde was as a Leisure and Lifestyle Officer. “It was really fun getting to coordinate activities. I completed my certificates in aged care which then lead me to the Team Leader role”. Nya is currently studying at the University of Western Sydney to become a Registered Nurse and hopes to stay on at Calvary Ryde in a new role.

Nya first knew he wanted to be a nurse when he was back in Africa. “There are no nursing homes in Africa so you care for the elderly at home. I grew a strong appreciation for my father who looked after my grandfather for many years. I then became interested in nursing and the aged care industry”.

 “The thank you I receive from our residents makes me appreciate my job more. Calvary Ryde is one big family and I love the residents. They are always asking me about my family and I get to chat to them about theirs”.

Nya said “The best things about working at Calvary are the teamwork, the respect, the care and the people”.

Mary-Ann, Registered Nurse

Mary-Ann is a Registered Nurse at the new Calvary Muswellbrook Retirement Community. Her role involves looking after the overall health of residents. “I work alongside GP’s wherever they need medical assistance. I also make sure that the care staff provide the right care to our residents to ensure their needs are met”.

Mary-Ann was born in the Philippines and has a keen interest in cooking. She has worked as both a Care Service Employee and a Registered Nurse at both Calvary Cessnock and Calvary Muswellbrook.

Mary-Ann became interested in becoming a nurse when watching her sister graduate from a nursing degree. “After finishing my Registered Nurse course in the Philippines, my auntie offered me the opportunity to study the same course in Australia. I was delighted and accepted her offer”.

When speaking about her 3 year Bachelor of Nursing degree Mary-Ann emphasised “Everything wasn’t easy especially being away from my family and staying in a foreign country. My strong determination to have a brighter future helped me achieve my degree with flying colours”.

“I chose to become a nurse because I love helping people in every way I can. I decided to work in aged care because elderly people have a special place in my heart. Growing up with grandparents I have witnessed how difficult it can be to be frail and not be able to do the things they used to do. In the Philippines there are no aged care facilities so we have to look after our grandparents. That is when my passion for caring started” said Mary.

“Every aspect of my job is rewarding. I especially love seeing the joy in the faces of our residents”.

Sarah, Registered Nurse

Sarah is the Clinical Care Coordinator at Calvary St Francis in Eleebana. She is responsible for planning the care of residents and ensuring their clinical needs and wellbeing are managed effectively.

Sarah grew up in the Maitland region and attended Grossmann High School. She completed her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Newcastle. Recently married with a beloved golden retriever Lenni, Sarah is able to balance her work life with her family life.

Sarah has worked for Calvary for 10 years. She has completed a school based traineeship, Certificate III in Aged Care, a Certificate IV in Aged Care and her bachelor degree while working at Calvary St Francis.

“I work closely with the GPs, attend nursing assessments and liaise with other health professionals”.  As part of her role Sarah regularly completes ongoing professional development as required by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

 “It does sound cheesy but I became a nurse to help and care for people. It can be very challenging but often is even more rewarding. Aged care is a growing industry and I want to be part of shaping it to be what we all want for our families and ourselves”.  

Sarah said “The most rewarding parts of my job are helping residents achieve their goals, providing quality palliative care and working with families by educating and supporting them”.

The best thing about working for Calvary is “the people I work with and the residents I care for. I am lucky to have been supported through my personal and professional growth”.