Now Reading: Celebrating Nurses and Midwives: Champions of Change

Celebrating Nurses and Midwives: Champions of Change

The World Health Organisation has declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse & Midwife, recognising and celebrating the global contribution nurses and midwives make to healthcare today and over hundreds of years. Around the world, more than 20 million nurses and midwives devote their lives to caring for their patients, in many cases even before these people are born.

The Year of the Nurse & Midwife is an acknowledgement of the profession, and for Dr Cheryl Ross, ‘It’s the most wonderful profession out there. It can make a difference to so many people’s lives.’

Cheryl has been a nurse and midwife since the 1970s and is now the Head of Nursing at Torrens University Australia. ‘I’ve been the blessed as I’ve worked in lots of different areas in nursing. That’s because as a nurse you have so many options available. And nurses are everywhere; they are working in every corner of the world.’

Talking about the roles of nurses and midwives, Cheryl says that as a nurse you are caring for people who are unwell or seriously ill, while midwives are involved with the fundamental process of life – bringing babies into the world. For midwives, treating illnesses is actually unusual rather than usual. ‘I’ve been lucky because I’ve been able to practice in both areas.’

‘Florence Nightingale said over 150 years ago that it would take the world this long to recognise the work nurses do,’ Cheryl explains, ‘and she was right, really. The Year of the Nurse & Midwife is a great accolade and a public recognition of the contribution made by nurses and midwives.’

At Torrens University Australia we’re joining in the celebrations by showcasing the broad range of areas that nurses work and specialise in across their careers. Throughout the year, at our campuses in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, leading nurses and midwives will come and talk to our students about such topics as the value of nursing, the diversity of nursing roles, the changing place of midwives, and where your healthcare career can take you when you graduate.

International Nurses Day 2020

A highlight of the year will be the International Nurses Day (IND) on 12 May. Every year all around the world, IND commemorates the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth and marks the importance of nurses in our lives. In 2020, it will be an even more significant day for all of us.

Torrens University is proud to be a Gold Affiliate partner of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), which is running an exciting program of events right through 2020. The CEO of the ACN, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, will take part in a webinar for Torrens University Nursing students nationally. Adjunct Professor Ward is held in high esteem in the Nursing profession and her insights will be invaluable for both our staff and students.

For the ACN, this special year is an opportunity to ‘honour the past champions who changed the course of nursing history; celebrate present-day visionaries whose outstanding expertise is currently transforming the Australian healthcare system; and nurture those who will shape our profession’s future’. To find out more visit:

As well as celebrating the work of nurses and midwives, the WHO wants the year to encourage more and more people to enter the profession. ‘The world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.’

Will you be one of the nurses or midwives of the future?

‘If you want a wonderful career that’s very portable and open to challenges and experiences that you wouldn’t get in any other occupation, then go for nursing,’ says Dr Cheryl Ross. ‘I think nurses come in as the most trusted people on all the polls. They do so much and yet a lot of people don’t realise that until they are on the receiving end of this care. Nurses just get down and do what they have to do.’

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