Celebrating the successes of the Southern Cross nursing and midwifery community

The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. We recently celebrating the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, by sharing the stories and successes of the Southern Cross nursing and midwifery community.

 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife logo

Nurse with stethoscope outside building

Graduate nurse recognised as the state’s best

Southern Cross University graduate Sally Smith has been named as winner in the NSW Health Excellence in Nursing and Midwifery awards.

Read Sally's story


Nurse in front of ambulance

Ashleigh Woods is nursing on the frontline

Ashleigh Woods will never forget the first time she had to help a doctor insert an endotracheal tube into a patient’s lungs, so they could breathe.

Read Ashleigh's story

Smiling woman in medical setting

Delivering the next generation

Midwifery graduate Taneeka will be working alongside some of the women who helped deliver her as a baby two decades ago.

Read Taneeka's story



Emergency department, St Vincents Hospital

Mitchell Turner is a senior registered Nurse working in the emergency department, St Vincents Hospital Sydney.

My name is Mitchell Turner, I'm a senior registered nurse here at St. Vincent's Emergency Department, also a resuscitation accredited nurse.

So I'm working in resusc, which is a three-bedded bay here in emergency.

We look after the critically ill patients that come in, the stabbings to shootings, the heart attacks, anything that you think is possible ... down to working in a team of three, being that I'm the team leader looking after two other nurses and caring for eight individual patients, liaising with the in-charge, the bosses and also the patients and my team members to make sure the patient gets the adequate care and up to the ward as quick as possible.

Some advice that I can give you is to jump straight into University. Personally it's worked wonders for me.

I've come out into practice and now I'm three years out and working in one of the best hospitals in Australia.

I'm Mitchell Turner and that is my story.

Volunteering in Nepal

During her studies at Southern Cross, Ashleigh volunteered in Nepal, assisting community health workers and teaching healthy hygiene practices.

In primary school we had a teacher come in and talk to us about where babies come from and I actually first
helped to deliver a baby from a stocking in front of the whole class and I thought it was the most awesome thing ever.

Since I was a little girl I wanted to be a nurse. The facilities are like being in a hospital especially
when you're in a sim lab environment. I think they're first class. They simulate a hospital environment and you get to work with sim dolls and dolls that breathe and they cry and you can do all sorts of things.

So when I was at university in class we actually had the opportunity to speak to somebody who was
running volunteer programs in Nepal and I heard about this program.

I was really keen on it so I actually got to go to Nepal and help in Nepal in different

A massive part of studying nursing is that you have to be passionate about it and really want to do it and achieve your goals.


On placement in the outback

Nursing students spent three weeks in Cobar working with the school community to design and implement a health prevention and education program aimed at teenage girls.

[Bec Boss, nursing student]
We both started placement, we did a lot of observations. So, we sat in the classroom, we watched the student and teacher interaction. We went out at lunchtime we spoke to the student and through observation, we were able to identify needs and started with a community analysis and come up with an health invention.

We didn't really know what I was getting into but after going through this experience of helping people, I'm aware of, I guess understanding community health, but to being part of a community and trying to really connect with the people, not just from a clinical perspective. Yeah, I love it.

[Imran Salad, nursing student]
I would really advise people to come out here and just give it a chance to see a different lifestyle to what they're used to, but I also think to have an open-minded and to be accepting other people's life choices in lifestyle as well as yours.

Because everyone is different everyone has the right, they have their own right to make their own decisions. So yeah, just giving it a shot and having a try.

[Rachael Moss, nursing student]
My favourite memory is being in the car driving to the school with the girls and singing at the top of our lung.

[Pip Dennewald, nursing student]
I chose to come out to Cobar purely because I actually wanted to see for myself what the Outback was like and I wanted to see how rural help actually was different to regional health.

I like that we had to take ownership of it and because, you know, I feel that if I have to go on other placements we're still monitored in that sense, of everything we do, but this is our time to shine and we kind of did it. And I'm really stoked that I did it.

Danielle Coates

Danielle Coates wins inaugural Leadership in Nursing Scholarship

Danielle Coates, Paediatric Emergency Nurse Practitioner, is the winner of the inaugural Bonnie Boezeman AO Leadership in Nursing Scholarship.

Read Danielle's story


Smile woman in front of green  bushland

New book delivers on midwifery decision-making globally

Southern Cross University’s Dr Elaine Jefford has published the world’s first exhaustive midwifery decision-making handbook in almost 15 years.

Read Elaine's story


Old photo of Aboriginal woman in nurse uniform

Nursing and midwifery symposium honours Lismore nurse

The courage of a woman, who in the 1940s became the first Aboriginal trainee at Lismore Hospital, is being recognised by naming the Nursing and Midwifery Symposium in her honour.

Read Ena Williams' story


Historical black and white photo of woman in nursing uniform

Northern Rivers’ own Florence Nightingale to be honoured

Ellen Riordan was awarded seven medals for her service in the ANZAC Nursing Corps in both World Wars. Now Southern Cross University will honour the local nurse’s legacy with an annual lecture series.

Read Ellen's story


Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020 poster

In nursing, the small things you do can have such a big impact on people’s lives.

It’s very rewarding - a very privileged position to be in.

— Sally Smith
Bachelor of Nursing graduate
Registered nurse, The Tweed Hospital
NSW Excellence in Nursing Graduate Winner 2019

Associate Professor Deb Massey Group Lead Nursing

“Nurses are at the frontline of COVID-19, and their role in preventing, recognising and responding to the pandemic has been acknowledged globally. Now more than ever, communities require nurses who have the knowledge, skills and experience to make a real and long-lasting impact on healthcare now and into the future.

 At Southern Cross we are preparing our students with agility and adaptability for an unpredictable future.  We have developed and deliver responsive, contemporary and clinically relevant nursing courses that prepare students with a variety of clinical placements experiences, applicable theoretical knowledge, and ensures they are taught by clinically relevant educators.”

Associate Professor Deb Massey, Group Lead Nursing