Today is International Nurses Day. A time to pay thanks to all the wonderful nurses out there who make a difference to the lives of the people they care for every day.

UPDATE: Meet Alcohol and Other Drugs team community health nurse Sheenah Van Eck click here

UPDATE: Meet Sexual Health Clinic community health nurse Rebekah Ryan click here

UPDATE: Meet Bendigo Multidisciplinary Centre community health nurse Liz Morley click here

ORIGINAL POST: International Nurses Day is celebrated across the world on May 12 – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

We’re fortunate to have some wonderful nurses working at Bendigo Community Health Services to support clients in a variety of services and programs.

In recognition of International Nurses Day and the great work they do, we’d like to introduce some of these nurses to you over the next week and talk to them about what makes their career special.

Let’s start with Louise Holland from our Women’s Health Clinic and Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Hub.

Louise is a nurse practitioner candidate and clinical nurse consultant.

How long have you been a nurse? 

34 years and 30 as a midwife

Why did nursing appeal to you in the beginning? 

I really wanted to be a PE teacher, but could not afford to go to uni and nursing in 1981 paid $90 per week! Once I found midwifery … that was my calling.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a nurse?

The privilege to be part of the educational, healing, growth of people’s lives as they face a health issue.

Tell us a story from your nursing career that made you cry?

The Night Duty shift when I was working in WA in the birth suite and was 34 weeks pregnant with my second baby. I was caring for a first-time couple and they had been trying to have a baby for five years. That night their baby died in utero and I cared for them overnight and supported her to birth their stillborn baby girl. It was both a beautiful and tragic experience at the same time. You never realise the strength of someone until they face the death of a child and it always reminds me how precious ‘every’ human is. PS: I am crying retelling this story.

And one that made you laugh? 

Numerous working days with my nursing colleagues Mary-Anne and Peter at the Bendigo Community Health Services Central site. Showing a group of Year 9 girls how to use a female condom in an education session.

What is your most memorable day on the job as a nurse?

Being told by a young woman whom I cared for as a teenage mother that she was going to be a midwife - just like me. She’s now the co-ordinator of a midwife program.

What would you say to a young student asking your advice on pursuing nursing as a career? 

Do it! Nursing is a gateway to many incredible career options AND you are always trusted if you say you are a NURSE.

Meet more of our wonderful nurses:

To meet Alcohol and Other Drugs team community health nurse Sheenah Van Eck click here I #BCHS #thereforyou