PM honours nurses for their role in ‘tremendous fight’ against COVID-19 on International Nurses Day

Australian College of Nursing joins international colleagues to celebrate the diverse and important work of nurses

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia, has acknowledged Australian Nurses’ expertise, professionalism and contribution to combating COVID-19 and more, on International Nurses Day in the WHO declared Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, on Tuesday 12 May 2020.

The Prime Minister was joined by Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN, CEO of the Australian College of Nursing; Nikki Johnston OAM MACN and Matthew Luther OAM FACN to thank the 380,000 Australian nurses who he described as being “on the frontline in this tremendous fight against the coronavirus”. This was the first time an Australian Prime Minister has addressed International Nurses Day in this way.

He said to honour nurses, Australians should download the COVID-19 App, to help keep everyone safe.

“I want to thank all the nurses for everything you’ve done over recent months but much more than that, I want to thank our nurses for what you do every single day.

“Our nurses are in a battle every day against accidents, burns, cancers, heart disease, schizophrenia, MS, and so many other injuries and illnesses.

“You are there for the patient, you are there for all of us,” said the Prime Minister.

“The country has seen an extraordinary response from our nursing community during this time.

“Often, when we talk about nursing, most people think of a person in a hospital wearing scrubs, however in Australia, we have nurses working across hundreds of different situations and workplaces.

“Nurses sit at the crossroads of academia; healthcare; medical research; policy; government; urban, regional and remote concerns; access and equity as well as advances in technology.

“Nurses exist at almost every major point in our lifecycle, and at the heart of every health and social issue we have.

“Nurses are personal and political, scientific and empathetic. Nurses are in our past, in our present and futures.

“A nurse can quite literally save your life. And will. Today, we ask Australians to not only thank nurses for their work, but to think about the vital role they play in carving the future of Australian healthcare.

“Quite simply, nurses, because of their unique role of working with people from birth to death, need to be involved in health policy. We need to ensure that nurses have a chair at the table for policy and funding decisions; for we have a lot to contribute and experience like no other profession,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

ACN has joined forces with their international colleagues to highlight to communities, health systems and governments, that nurses are central to the delivery of healthcare and make invaluable contributions to the health of us all.

The WHO declared International Nurses Day campaign is #NursingNow #NursingNowAustralia.

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