2020: The International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

When the World Health Organisation designated 2020 to be the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, it seemed pretty appropriate, and not because it was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, which is why they originally chose it, but for a more obvious reason which I think we can all guess.

Healthcare is a stressful industry as the best of times, but for those on the frontline during the COVID-19 crisis, it’s likely to be one of the most arduous and unnerving periods of their professional lives.

And in some cases, like that of 29-year-old Gold Coaster Ellie Foley, it actually saw the launch of their careers in health.

COVID-19 took Ellie Foley’s job in the hospitality industry, but she turned the loss on its head to pursue her dream career as a nurse. The job loss came as shock to Ellie, as it did to many people all over the world who found themselves suddenly without work.

“I struggled to adjust to the reality of unemployment, while raising a young family and studying nursing fulltime at TAFE Queensland,” said Ellie.

“I wanted to get straight back into the workforce and being halfway through my nursing studies was the perfect opportunity to use my newly acquired skills and pursue a job in the health industry.”

The Diploma of Nursing student met with a TAFE Queensland Employment Officer who was able to connect her with Bolton Clarke Residential Aged Care in Currumbin. She then secured a job there as a personal carer.

Ellie, who studies at the Southport campus, said she is extremely grateful to have a job in the current climate, particularly just six months into starting her diploma.

“Together the theory, practical work and placements ensured I had enough experience to start my nursing career and now I get to work and learn simultaneously while applying my skills in the real world.”

“I can’t thank TAFE Queensland enough – they not only gave me the confidence, skills and capability to chase my dreams, but also connected me with my new employer,” she said.

Upon graduating at the end of this year, the mother-of-two plans to go onto university to become a midwife.

A huge and heartfelt thank you to all our nurses, midwives, and other health workers who have been holding things together over the last few months. We don’t know what we’d do without you. There is some excellent content around nursing worldwide at 2020yearofthenurse.org.

For more information about TAFE Queensland’s nursing programs call 1300 308 233 or visit tafeqld.edu.au.

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