Let’s celebrate our nurses!

Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

There are more than 20 million nurses around the world. As carers, healers, educators, leaders and advocates, nurses are fundamental to providing safe and accessible care in every setting.

Nurses are present in some of life’s most precious moments, and some of its most tragic, and we would like to show our appreciation to our nurses on International Nurses Day, and every other day!

To celebrate International Nurses Day, May 12, we spoke to Brightwater Nurse Practitioner, Sheila Craik. Sheila joined Brightwater earlier this year and has been instrumental in administering the flu vaccines to staff and clients. She will support Brightwater sites in the south as the lead Nurse Practitioner. 

Sheila’s career in nursing has seen her work across hospitals, correctional facilities and aged care, and it’s her love for the job that inspires her to keep finding the next challenge.

Sheila chose to become a nurse, after her mother, who worked as a nurse when Sheila was growing up.

“I think the ability to help people was the key thing that attracted me to nursing. I went into caring before I become a nurse, and then studied to become an Enrolled Nurse, it was here that the educators of the course encouraged me to do my Registered Nurse Training. While I was studying full-time, I was doing night shifts at Royal Perth and looking after my children – it was a challenging time but it was worth it.”

From there, Sheila moved into corrective services, working across female and male prisons. She was also given the opportunity to study at Curtin University as a Nurse Practitioner focusing in primary care and chronic disease management.

Sheila utilised these qualifications at Silver Chain and at an after-hours clinic in Albany, before moving into aged care, after speaking with a friend about the industry.

“I spoke with someone who said there is never a dull day, you can always find a way to laugh and somebody to help – these words always stayed with me, and they’re so true. It is worthwhile area to be in and I really enjoy it.”

On her favourite thing about being a nurse, Sheila said it’s the people.

“It’s the variety of different people you come across. Clients always bring a smile – when you think about their lives and what they’ve been through… some of our clients have lived through wars, great depressions, they’ve had experiences that we wouldn’t dream of. They’ve got tales worth listening to.”

International Nurses Day commemorates the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, the founder of modern nursing.